Cost Order Dispute Resolved in Evans v McTeare Case: Key Legal Principles Analyzed

Citation: [2023] EWHC 2828 (Ch)
Judgment on


The case of Christian Mark Richard Evans v Andrew McTeare & Ors ([2023] EWHC 2828 (Ch)) presents an appeal related to the rejection of a proof of debt in an insolvency matter. The central issue revolves around costs following the appellant’s decision to settle with certain parties but not others. This article analytical review unpacks the key topics and legal principles applied by I.C.C. Judge Jones while adjudicating the cost orders post-settlement.

Key Facts

The appellant, Mr. Evans, lodged an appeal against the rejection of his proof of debt, initially over £2.3 million, by the Liquidators/PVE Capital LLP. However, Mr. Evans settled with the Liquidators/PVE Capital LLP, receiving £10,000 and agreeing to a discontinuation of the appeal and Part 7 proceedings against certain parties, excluding the Third Respondent, PVE Capital Limited. The Third Respondent, having had a financial interest contingent on the outcome due to indemnity obligations, contested the appeal and sought a costs order against Mr. Evans following the discontinuation of the proceedings.

A series of legal principles are delineated throughout the judgment:

  1. Role Distinction: The court differentiates between the neutral role of Liquidators in an insolvency appeal and an active role of opposing parties. It establishes that active opposition costs may not necessarily duplicate those incurred by neutral parties (para. 21).

  2. Duplication of Costs: The issue of duplication of costs hinges on whether an actively opposing interested party has incurred costs which overlap with those of a neutral liquidator. This is predominately a matter for cost assessment rather than for establishing liability (para. 34).

  3. Costs of Interested Parties: The White Book commentary at 44.2.33 is referenced, illuminating circumstances under which an interested party may not recover full costs, particularly if their involvement did not address distinct issues separate from other defendants or if there was no conflicting interest (para. 22).

  4. Applicability of CPR in Insolvency Proceedings: It is affirmed that the CPR is to be applied in conjunction with Insolvency Rules, subject to modifications and unless directly inconsistent (para. 35).

  5. Principles of Costs Orders: Upon discontinuation of an appeal, those who would have actively opposed are deemed successful parties for the purpose of determining cost orders. The successful party principle is used to guide cost liability (para. 32).

  6. Payment on Account: The postulation under CPR Part 44, Rule 44.2(8), suggests that following a costs order, an interim payment is typically due before detailed assessment - barring compelling reasons (para. 41).


The judgment determined that the Third Respondent should be viewed as the successful party due to the appellant’s unilateral settlement and cessation of the appeal. Consequently, Mr. Evans was ordered to pay the costs of the Third Respondent, subject to detailed assessment. The court proposed a reasonable sum of £40,000 as an interim payment on account, to be paid within 28 days, addressing concerns of impecuniosity and duplication, which can later be considered during the detailed assessment.


The Evans case underlines the nuanced approach courts must adopt when adjudicating on cost orders following the discontinuation of appeals in insolvency proceedings. It reiterates the importance of delineating roles and avoiding unnecessary duplication of costs, while confirming the application of the CPR within the insolvency context. Additionally, it demonstrates the principle that settling appellants cannot evade costs liability to parties who would have actively opposed the appeal.