High Court Analyzes Anti-Suit Injunction, Cost Deductions, and Interim Payments in Lifestyle Equities Case

Citation: [2023] EWHC 2923 (Ch)
Judgment on


The case of Lifestyle Equities CV & Anor v Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club Limited & Ors ([2023] EWHC 2923 (Ch)) presents a comprehensive analysis of a request for an anti-suit injunction, cost deductions following a trial, interim payments, and an application for permission to appeal. This article will dissect the High Court’s application of relevant legal principles pertaining to these issues and their respective rulings, providing legal professionals with insights into the Court’s reasoning.

Key Facts

The case revolves around the Defendants’ application for an anti-suit injunction and various cost-related disputes following a trial where the Defendants were deemed the successful party. The Defendants also sought an interim payment on account of costs and submitted an N260 Statement of Costs for a Form of Order (FOO) hearing. The Claimants contested certain deductions from the Defendants’ costs and applied for permission to appeal on several grounds. Notably, the hearing date was set after the trial judgment had been handed down, with the Honourable Mr Justice Mellor presiding over the consequentials.

Several legal principles were pivotal in this case. Firstly, the concept of an anti-suit injunction was explored. The jurisdiction to grant such injunctions to prevent re-litigation of the same claim in foreign jurisdictions was affirmed, hinging on avoiding abuse of process and maintaining respect for the finality of UK court decisions. The Court referred to Masri, Donohue v Armco Inc, and other cases, emphasizing the need for restraint and full knowledge of the circumstances before granting such injunctions.

In the realm of costs, the Court adhered to the principles in CPR 44.2, considering the overall success of a party and the reasonableness of contesting certain issues. The Court also employed an issue-based approach to costs, as established in cases like Specsavers v Asda and Unwired Planet v Huawei, which requires determining the “overall winner,” identifying circumscribed issues where costs can be adjusted, and deciding whether to go further in awarding costs for those issues.

The interim payment assessment was guided by CPR r 44.2(8), factoring in the “good reason” threshold outlined in Harrison and the importance of costs budgeting reflected in Thomas Pink v Victoria’s Secret.

Lastly, the Court addressed the grounds for giving permission to appeal, scrutinizing the viability of the grounds presented and whether they constituted questions of law that warranted review by the Court of Appeal.


The Court declined to grant the anti-suit injunction, clarifying that while the jurisdiction to grant the injunction existed, the current facts did not display a sufficient threat or abuse to justify it. Moreover, the potential for immediate relief upon any supposed misbehavior by the Claimants was deemed a sufficient deterrent.

As for costs, the Court rejected the Claimants’ suggestion for a 20% deduction from the Defendants’ costs, finding the Defendants’ conduct reasonable and the proposed reductions unsubstantiated. While there was recognition of conduct issues related to the Claimants, these did not warrant indemnity costs or affect the Court’s decision not to deduct from the Defendants’ costs.

The interim payment awarded to the Defendants was assessed at £750,000, lower than what the Defendants requested but considerably more than what the Claimants proposed, representing a balanced estimation based on the Defendants’ incurred and budgeted costs.

The Court refused the Defendants’ request to summarily assess their FOO costs, considering the Defendants’ failure to anticipate and incorporate these costs into their budget and emphasizing the importance of forecasting such expenses in cases where a significant FOO hearing is likely.

Permission to appeal was granted on the issue comprising the ‘crowded marketplace’ ground, signaling an important question of law. However, the post-sale confusion ground was not granted independently, and no permission was given regarding the challenge to ‘trade’ evidence admissibility under PD57AC.


Lifestyle Equities CV & Anor v Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club Limited & Ors ([2023] EWHC 2923 (Ch)) is a multifaceted case that illustrates the High Court’s balancing of principles related to anti-suit injunctions, cost allocations, and interim payments within litigation proceedings. It underlines the necessity for careful contemplation when deciding on the issuance of an anti-suit injunction and the precise articulation of issues when considering cost deductions. The judgment also reinforces the significance of proactive costs budgeting and the rigorous criteria for granting permission to appeal. Legal professionals can glean vital insights from the Court’s meticulous application of these principles to the case at hand.