Stewart v Atco Controls Pty Ltd (in Liquidation) [No 2]  HCA 31 (15 August 2014).
On 7 May 2014, the appellants successfully appealed a decision of the Victorian Court of appeal. The High Court held that the first appellant was entitled to an equitable lien over settlement funds from litigation against the respondent, a secured creditor, and receivers appointed by the respondent. Accordingly, orders were made on 7 May setting aside the Court of Appeal’s orders and ordering that the respondent pay the appellant’s costs.
The applicant sought the variation of the costs order so that an order be made for costs on an indemnity basis on the grounds that the respondent unreasonably refused an offer containing an accommodation in its favour during the Court of Appeal proceedings.
The Court held that the respondent unreasonably refused the applicants’ offer and should therefore be liable for indemnity costs of the Court of Appeal proceedings and that the costs of the High Court proceedings remain on the usual basis as there was no offer for the respondent to accept at the time of the High Court proceedings.
The High Court therefore varied its earlier orders to the effect that the respondent pay the costs of the Court of Appeal proceedings on an indemnity basis.
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