Andrew Dinsmore has appeared as sole counsel in an interlocutory application in Steenbok Newco 10 SARL v Formal Holdings Limited  EWHC 1112 (Comm) where the defendants sought to uplift (previously agreed) security for costs.
The underlying claim concerns an international conspiracy between, inter alia, the Defendants and Mr Marcus Jooste to strip over €100m of assets from the Steinhoff Group (in which Mr Jooste was the CEO). The Steinhoff Group is a major international retailer, which includes brands such as Poundland, and was the alleged victim of a substantial fraud, as reported by Bloomberg (£), the Financial Times, the BBC and Reuters.
The judgment follows a full-day CMC in the Commercial Court, at which Andrew also appeared as sole counsel. It is interesting in that it (i) clarifies that the correct approach to the quantum of a security for costs application is that costs will be assessed on the standard basis in fraud claims; (ii) discusses what could be regarded as a ‘material change of circumstances’ to justify an uplift in the quantum of security for costs; and (iii) gives an in-depth analysis of uplifting each stage of litigation.
Reflecting on the judgment, Mr Dinsmore said:
“This judgment provides useful guidance for litigators in high-value, international commercial cases, where it can be difficult to predict with precision the client’s likely costs at the outset. It is common for such cases to take unpredictable turns that require additional work, and this case is a must-read for any practitioner wishing to uplift the quantum of a previous security for costs order.”