Following Conran Holdings’ High Court victory against Des Gunewardena last month (click here to see article), Simkins has helped Conran obtain indemnity costs against the so-called “king of London restaurants”.
At a hearing on Friday, 16 December, the trial judge, Mr Justice Mann, ordered Mr Gunewardena to pay Conran’s costs on the indemnity basis from the outset of the proceedings. He also ordered interest to be paid on costs and a substantial payment on account of costs of £500,000.
Whilst the judge accepted Mr Gunewardena’s position that a “bad loss” at trial does not necessarily lead to an award of indemnity costs, he ordered indemnity costs to be paid to Conran, rather than standard costs, because the case was “outside of the norm”. The judge considered that Mr Gunewardena’s claim had been highly speculative. The claim was unjustified in light of the clear and relevant evidence that Mr Gunewardena had been presented with prior to the commencement of proceedings, evidence that made it quite clear that he could not succeed.
Permission to appeal the November judgment to the Court of Appeal was denied on the basis that such an appeal would have no reasonable prospect of success.
The Simkins team acting for Conran included Managing Partner Euan Lawson, Disputes Partner Tom Iverson and Trainee Solicitor Rose Croshaw. Simkins instructed Philip Jones QC of Serle Court. Olswang acted for Mr Gunewardena and instructed Matthew Collings QC.