If you are successful in legal proceedings at the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal, you should keep in mind that you may be able to get some or all of your costs back.
Sachs Gerace Lawyers recently acted on behalf of a lot owner who had proceedings brought against her by another owner for noise transmission to her lot. Sachs Gerace Lawyers successfully defended the lot owner in Tribunal proceedings and subsequently made an application to the Tribunal for the lot owner’s costs.
In considering the application for costs, the Tribunal looked at whether “special circumstances” existed to award costs. The following are examples of “special circumstances” which if proven to exist, may result in the Tribunal making a costs order in your favour:
- If the other side has disadavantaged you in some way;
- If the other side has delayed the proceedings i.e. by seeking multiple extensions of time;
- If the other side has made a claim that has no reasonable chance of succeeding;
- If the proceedings involve complex issues i.e. when an expert is involved;
- If the other side has brought proceedings that are not genuine; or
- If the other side has not enabled the resolution of the real issues in the proceedings in a timely and cost efficient manner i.e. by unreasonably refusing an offer of settlement.
In this case, the Tribunal awarded costs to our client because it was found that the lot owner who commenced the proceedings:
- Did not have a strong enough case having regard to the expert report she had relied on;
- Did not have strong enough evidence to support her case generally; and
- Made an unreasonable offer of settlement which showed that she did not really want to settle the matter.
If you have any questions, call David Sachs, the firm’s Principal, or Anne Fernando, who ran the above case.