In Sims v Hawkins – Lawtel 15.11.07 the Court of Appeal examined the making of an order for non-party costs under s.51(3) of the Supreme Court Act 1981 in circumstances where the defence of the unsuccessful party, a corporate litigant, had started as being in the interests of the company and had ended as being in the interests of the company officers themselves, and concluded that the approach of the judge below in ordering costs against the non-party on an indemnity basis had not been wrong. The court reviewed the existing authorities concerning payment of costs by a non-party under s.51(3) of the Act, particularly where a non-party in a corporate setting was inevitably close to a corporate litigant.

It also cautioned against the dangers of litigating about comparatively small sums in a manner that was only commensurate with much larger issues, emphasising that litigation ought to be proportionate to the need for reasonable remedies, not an exercise in attrition.