Shields Automotive Ltd v Greig - Costs orders and misrepresentations about a paying party's means [2011] EAT

When ordering costs, a tribunal "may" take account of a paying party's means. This includes all means - not just income, but also capital. However, if the evidence given is such that a clear picture of the party's means simply cannot be established, then that will be a case where it is inappropriate to take account of means at all. 

When Mr Greig's unfair dismissal claim was dismissed by an employment tribunal, he was held to have behaved unreasonably in making unfounded allegations, effectively lying under oath. Costs (or more accurately, since this was a tribunal in Scotland, "expenses") were ordered against him. Shields claimed expenses of over £21,000.

The tribunal set the costs award at £4,000 - it based this upon information he gave about his income and out-goings, and his means appeared limited given he was in the midst of a divorce. Although made aware of it, the tribunal took no account of Mr Greig's capital of some £135,000.

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