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HOSKING – V – APAX PARTNERS LLP [2018] EWHC 2732 (CH)

PCB’s defence on behalf of 33 respondents to a €1bn claim culminated in PCB’s clients being awarded indemnity costs. The Claimants’ case had collapsed after 4 days of a 6 week trial, but the Judge considered he was in a position to assess in broad terms the reasonableness of the pursuit and the manner of presentation of the proceedings, to determine in all the circumstances already apparent to the Court whether the case was such as fairly and properly to be characterised as “out of the norm”. He concluded that this had been high-risk litigation, aggressively and very expensively pursued and that it was taken out of the norm by factors including (1) the pursuit of serious allegations of commercial impropriety which were suddenly abandoned without explanation; (2) the changing nature and inconsistencies in the case; and (3) the publicity attending the case.