Profi Welders sro v R & R Mechanical Ltd

JurisdictionIreland
CourtHigh Court
JudgeMr Justice Max Barrett
Judgment Date05 March 2019
Neutral Citation[2019] IEHC 135
Docket Number2017 No. 203 S
Date05 March 2019

[2019] IEHC 135

THE HIGH COURT

Barrett J.

2017 No. 203 S

Between:
PROFI WELDERS s.r.o.
Plaintiff
– and –
R&R MECHANICAL LIMITED
Defendants

Contract Law – Costs – Summary hearing – Plaintiff seeking an order for costs in relation to a summary hearing in the proceedings; Defendant seeking an order for a stay on the order of the Court – Whether the Court should make an order for costs and order a stay

Facts: This was an application for costs in relation to a summary hearing where the plaintiff was ultimately successful in the plenary hearing. The plaintiff argued that the defence put forward by the defendant at the summary hearing was almost entirely rejected at the plenary hearing and so costs should be awarded in their favour. The defendant argued that the case was never going to be decided summarily and the costs of the hearing could have been avoided if the plaintiff had agreed to a plenary hearing at the outset. The defendant further sought an order for a stay on the court’s order pending the possibility of an appeal which had not yet been lodged.

Held by Barrett J that the costs of the summary hearing should be ordered in favour of the plaintiff. With regard to the order for a stay, Barrett J outlined the factors to be considered and declined to order a stay. While the defendant had a right to an appeal, no basis for appeal was identified and the matter had been decided on the court’s adjudication of the facts with next to no points of law at issue.

Relief granted as to the plaintiff; denied as to the defendant.

JUDGMENT of Mr Justice Max Barrett delivered on 5th March, 2019.
1

This is an application for costs and for a stay on the orders of this Court pending the possibility of an appeal that may or may not be brought following on the court's decision in Profi Welders s.p.o. v. R&R Mechanical Ltd [2019] IEHC 36.

2

Costs of plenary hearing. It is not disputed that Profi Welders should receive the costs of the plenary hearing.

3

Costs of summary hearing. The costs of the summary hearing were reserved to the trial judge to decide. Profi maintains that this is a case in which facts asserted at the summary hearing as providing an arguable defence were almost entirely rejected by the court at plenary hearing, and that this is therefore a case in which, having succeeded at the plenary hearing, the costs of the summary hearing ought to be ordered in its favour. R&R maintains that it was clear from the form of the defence raised at the summary stage that this was never a case that was going to be decided summarily and that much of the costs of the summary proceedings could have been avoided if Profi had but agreed for the matter to go to plenary hearing.

4

Although the court has some sympathy for the position advanced by R&R, it cannot ignore the fact that the facts asserted at the summary hearing as providing an arguable defence were almost entirely rejected by the court at plenary hearing. In this regard, the court is mindful of the following observation of Clarke J. in ACC Bank plc v. Hanrahan [2014] IESC 40, para.3.6:

‘In many cases a defendant puts forward evidence of facts which, if…established at trial, might…provide an arguable defence. But when the case goes to trial that evidence may…be rejected after careful analysis by the trial court….[I]t may well not be just that a defendant should get the costs of a summary judgment motion (even if it was clear, on the basis of the affidavit evidence, that the...

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