In Chantrey Vellacott v Convergence Group plc and others – Butterworths Law Direct 31.7.07 the Claimant successfully applied pursuant to the jurisdiction conferred by s 51 of the Supreme Court Act 1981, to add as third and fourth Defendants, the directors of the first Defendant on the basis that they had controlled and funded the litigation and stood to benefit personally from it, if it succeeded.
The Chancery court emphasised that the jurisdiction to order costs against non-parties was an exceptional one. 'Exceptional' meaning that the features relied upon were extraordinary in the context of the entire range of litigation that came before the courts. Ultimately, however, the relevant test was whether in all the circumstances it was just to exercise the jurisdiction conferred by s 51 of the Supreme Court Act 1981. Applying those principles, the court, inter alia, ordered the third Defendant director personally to pay the Claimant's costs of the proceedings which had been awarded to it against the first and second Defendant companies, but declined to order the fourth Defendant director to pay any of those costs.