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  • Appellant hit with £4,300 costs order

    Posted on November 25th, 2009 admin No comments
    Prepare your case!

    Prepare your case!

    A lawyer who took a case to the Information Tribunal and lost has now been landed with a £4,353 costs bill.

    David Bowden, a qualified solicitor, who trades under the name Lobby and Law, brought an appeal to the Information Tribunal earlier this year.

    His case was attempting to overturn the Information Commissioner’s decision to allow the Cabinet Office to rely on S.35 (Formulation of Government Policy) to block the release of minutes relating to specific meetings.

    Mr Bowden, who said he was acting on behalf of an anonymous third party, failed to convince the Tribunal of the strength of his case and they upheld the Commissioner’s decision.

    However, the Tribunal issued some stinging criticism of the way the appeal had been conducted and have now agreed to award costs against Mr Bowden under Rule 29 of the Tribunal’s Enforcement (Appeals) Rules 2005.

    The Tribunal said that Mr Bowden had “chosen to prepare an inordinately large amount of irrelevant documentation”.

    It was also noted that “much of what the appellant prepared and submitted to the Tribunal for the hearing consisted of an assortment of documentation ranging from newspaper articles to undated and unidentified publications of various sorts”.

    The Tribunal considered the appeal could have been dealt with in a day but because of the disorganised way Mr Bowden conducted his case a second day was needed, which of course brought with it a rise in costs for all parties.

    The Tribunal added: “……Mr Bowden was incapable of responding properly or at all throughout the course of the appeal and beyond, to requests by the Tribunal as well as the Additional Party to organise his case in some form of more concise order so as to economise the time and effort spent by all parties in conducting the appeal.”

    Here is a copy of the Tribunal’s decision in this case relating to costs [link] and the ruling in the case case sparked the costs issse [link].

    This is the third time the Information Tribunal has made an order of costs following a hearing. The other two cases saw Northumbria Police having to pay £1,000 and Nottingham City Council being made to pay £8,000 in costs.