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Specific costs orders: what does it mean?

There is often the perception that the wording of a costs Order has a meaning that would entitle the successful party to recover costs beyond what is envisaged as between Party and Party and as prescribed in the tariff, whether it be High Court or Magistrates Court.

On numerous occasions our Courts have made costs Orders with the following wording :

“Full costs”, “All costs” & “Legal expenses”.

In so many cases it was believed by the party in whose favour the Order is made that it means and will include Attorney and Client costs.

When the word “costs” is used in an Order of Court, this means Party and Party costs. Similarly, words such as “ordinary costs” and “taxed costs” have been held to mean no more than Party and Party costs.

Where the Court intended that Attorney and Client costs should be paid, this should be expressly stated in that Order.



“All costs” in relation to an Order for costs to be paid out of and Estate include Attorney and Client costs.

Where an award is made for “costs out of an Estate”, this ordinarily means Party and Party costs except where the award is in favour of an Executor or Trustee, in which case the words “costs out of an Estate” will include Attorney and Client costs.

For assistance in the drafting and taxing of costs relating to Estates, you are welcome to contact our experienced team for advice.