Mr. & Mrs. Mana v Clariden Leu Asset Management (Dubai) Limited
This claim was filed in the DIFC Court of First Instance in December 2011 and settled substantively in May 2012 by way of the claimants’ acceptance of a Part 32 offer made by the defendant, who was represented by Al Tamimi & Company (ATCO). A Part 32 offer is an option under the rules of the DIFC Courts which permits defendants to attempt to settle substantive claims (excluding costs) on sensible commercial terms and requires claimants to give serious consideration to accepting such offers or else face possible adverse costs consequences if they proceed with their claim and achieve a less favorable outcome following a trial. In this case, one factor in the Pakistan-based claimants’ acceptance of the Part 32 offer was a security for costs application filed against them. This application was not pursued following the claimants’ acceptance of the defendant’s Part 32 offer.
With the substantive claim settled as a result of the claimants’ acceptance of the defendant’s Part 32 offer, the claimants subsequently failed to comply with the procedural rules for commencing costs assessment proceedings. The claimants’ legal representatives failed to commence these proceedings within the prescribed timeframe and the documents that were filed with the court were inconsistent and incomplete.
Upon an application by ATCO on behalf of the defendant, orders were issued by the DIFC Courts’ Registrar dismissing the entire proceedings with no order as to costs. These orders were appealed by the claimants, which led to an appeal hearing in April 2013 before Justice Tan Sri Siti Norma Yaakob. In late August 2013, Justice Yaakob’s judgment and order were issued dismissing the appeal and ordering the claimants to pay the defendant’s costs relating to the appeal. As a result of the conduct of the claimants and/or their lawyers, as well as ATCO’s efforts to enforce the applicable rules, the defendant was therefore not required to make a court-assessed contribution to the claimants’ legal costs in these DIFC Court proceedings, as is usually required of a party making a Part 32 offer that is accepted by the opponent(s).
DIFC Courts Team:
Hussain Al Matrood;