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Recent Cases on Costs

Some interesting cases recently reported which underscore both the discretion which a court has over awarding costs, and the confusion as to what factors will affect the court’s decision.  In Robyrts v. Roberts, 2009 BCCA 574 , the Court of Appeal confirmed that, even in the face of an offer to settle which would have provided a better result, the trial or chambers judge can deny any award of costs or double costs.  In C. (S.J.) v. A. (S.C.), 2010 BCCA 31, 2010 CarswellBC 135  British Columbia Court of Appeal, 2010, this issue of the court’s flexibility was canvassed again.  In this case, double costs was not awarded but the court paid attention to several factors in exercising its discretion, including the conduct of the parties and the interests of children involved.  It is clear that an Offer to Settle does not guarantee costs, let alone double costs.  It is equally clear, however, that a successful Offer will not negatively affect the court’s discretion to award those costs.

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