Whether an Interested Party can get its costs
One of the issues in this case was whether an “Interested Party” would be entitled to have its costs relating to an application which it successfully supported. Akenhead J held that it was so entitled. Section 51 of the Senior Courts Act 1981 gives the court a complete discretion as to costs and in the House of Lords’ decision in Bolton Metropolitan v Secretary of State for the Environment  costs were awarded to an Interested Party. Although it was said in Bolton that an Interested Party will not normally be entitled to its costs unless there was a separate issue on which it was entitled to be heard, there were said to be “special features” in that case (eg the case raised difficult questions of principle arising out of a change of government policy).
Here, the Interested Party was said to be entitled to its costs because it had had “a very serious and fundamental commercial interest in the outcome of the proceedings” and it was important that it support the application. Two key witness statements were provided by the Interested Party and these had been prepared by its solicitors (the statements covered an issue which had to be addressed and about which these witnesses had specific knowledge).