Atlas Baltic Ou v Interest in the MV Lady Magda

JudgeMr Justice Maurice Collins
Judgment Date18 February 2021
Neutral Citation[2021] IECA 51
Docket NumberCourt of Appeal Record Nos 2018/324
CourtCourt of Appeal (Ireland)
Date18 February 2021

In the Matter of the M/V “ Lady Magda

Atlas Baltic OÜ
The Owners and All Persons Claiming an Interest in the M/V “ Lady Magda

[2021] IECA 51

Collins J

Binchy J

Pilkington J

Court of Appeal Record Nos 2018/324



Disbursements – Contractual liability – Personal liability – Respondents seeking costs – Whether there was any basis for depriving the respondents of their prima facie entitlement to the costs of the appeal

Facts: The appellant, Atlantic Baltic OÜ (the Agents), appealed to the Court of Appeal from a judgment and order of the High Court (McGovern J) of 18 July 2018 dismissing the Agents’ claim against the respondents, the owners and all persons claiming an interest in the M/V “Lady Magda” (the Owners), in respect of “disbursements” (primarily port expenses but also including agents’ fees) said to have been made by the Agents on behalf of the Lady Magda. The proceedings and the appeal raised issues relating to the liability of the owners of a vessel where it is let on time charter. On 7 January 2021, Collins J held that no personal liability on the part of the Owners for the disbursements made by the Agents or for the agency fees charged by them had been demonstrated. He held that no such liability arose directly from the transactions between the Agents and the Charterers and neither did such liability arise by way of any supposed ratification of those transactions by the Owners. He held that it was common case that, in the absence of such personal liability on the part of the Owners, no claim could be pursued against them. That being so, he held that the appeal must be dismissed and the judgment and order of the High Court affirmed. The Owners were “entirely successful” in the appeal and, accordingly, were prima facie entitled to their costs: s. 169(1) of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015. However, it was said on behalf of the Agents that in all the circumstances it was reasonable for them to bring an appeal to the Court and they relied on s. 169(1)(b) of the 2015 Act as providing a basis on which the Court should “order otherwise”. The Agents next sought a stay on any orders for costs as well as a consequential stay on any order directing payment out to the Owners of the monies lodged with the Court as security for the Owners’ costs of the appeal. Any stay was opposed by the Owners.

Held by Collins J that there was no basis for depriving the Owners of their prima facie entitlement to the costs of the appeal. He held that those costs should include any additional costs incurred by the Owners in addressing the costs issue. He held that the costs order made in the High Court must also be affirmed. He directed that such costs should be adjudicated in default of agreement.

Collins J held that, balancing the different interests, there would be a stay on entry and/or execution on foot of the orders for costs made by the High Court and by the Court of Appeal (i) for a period of 21 days from the perfection of this order, (ii) if within that period an application for leave to appeal was made to the Supreme Court, that stay would continue until the Supreme Court's determination of that application for leave and (iii) in the event that leave to appeal is granted, the stay would continue until the determination of the appeal, subject to any contrary order that may be made by the Supreme Court. He held that a stay in those terms would not prevent the Owners from drawing up a bill(s) of costs and (should they see fit) proceeding to adjudication of such costs but no further steps could then be taken while the stay remained in place. He held that the Court would make an order for the payment out to the Owners of the monies lodged by way of security but that order would be stayed on the same basis.

Costs of appeal to respondents.

No further redaction needed

JUDGMENT of Mr Justice Maurice Collins delivered on 18 February 2021


This judgment is concerned with the costs of this appeal. It should be read with my earlier judgment of 7 January 2021 (with which Binchy and Pilkington JJ agreed): [2021] IECA 7. That judgment sets out in detail why the Agents' appeal was unsuccessful.


At the conclusion of that judgment, I expressed the view that it appeared to follow from the failure of the Agents' appeal that the Owners were entitled to the costs of the appeal. However, the Agents were afforded an opportunity to seek a brief...

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5 cases
  • Kenny Lee v The Revenue Commissioners
    • Ireland
    • Court of Appeal (Ireland)
    • 16 April 2021
    ...has failed in proceedings will normally bear the costs incurred by its opponent in defeating its claim (see most recently The Lady Magda [2021] IECA 51 at para. 6 . Fourth it is clear that the Court retains an exceptional jurisdiction to exempt a litigant from the consequence of this princi......
  • Brendan Kilty v Judge Cormac Dunne
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 5 February 2021
  • Jim Stafford (as Statutory Receiver of Hollioake Ltd ((in Receivership))) v Peter Rice
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 26 May 2021
    ...that the concept of reasonableness in this context means more than simply that the party pursued an issue in good faith ( MV Lady Madga [2021] IECA 51). Something more is required. It might, for example, have been reasonable for a party to pursue an issue in circumstances where the law on t......
  • Berrill and Others v Kenmare Property Finance DAC
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 15 May 2023
    ...the legal team acting on behalf of the defendant: rather, as explained by Collins J., writing for the Court of Appeal in The Lady Magda [2021] IECA 51 (at paragraphs 5 and 6), reasonableness has a particular meaning in the context of a costs 10 It seems to me that this was a case that, if n......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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