G (Adult), Re  EWCOP 5 (10 June 2014)
An application made by Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) seeking to be joined as a party to the proceedings in the Court of Protection Re G (Adult), London Borough of Redbridge v G and Others  EWCOP 1361 was dismissed and the parties were given permission to make written submissions on costs. The local authority and the Official Solicitor, as G’s litigation friend, both sought an order that ANL pay their costs of the application.
Sir James Munby, President of the Court of Protection, identified that the proceedings concerned G’s personal welfare and therefore the costs of the application were governed by CoPR 2007 rules 157 and 159. Where proceedings concern personal welfare the general rule is that there will be no order as to costs of the proceedings or of that part of the proceedings that concerns personal welfare. The court may depart from this rule if the circumstances so justify.
Sir Munby found that it was right to depart from the general rule given that ANL’s application was misconceived and that it failed completely but it did not mean that ANL should necessarily have to pay all the costs. He named three factors which justified his conclusion, namely the public importance of the issues, the stance adopted in particular by the Official Solicitor and the fact that he did not see why ANL should be required to pay two sets of costs. ANL were ordered to pay 30% of the costs of the local authority and 30% of the costs of the Official Solicitor.