Important TCC judgment on interested parties’ costs

25 Mar 2021 By Will Perry

The comments made in this case note are wholly personal and do not reflect the views of any other members of Monckton Chambers, its tenants or clients.

Bechtel Ltd v High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd ((No.2) Costs of the interested party) [2021] EWHC 640 (TCC)

Michael Bowsher QC and Ligia Osepciu were instructed for Bechtel.

Anneliese Blackwood and Will Perry were instructed for BBVS, the interested party. Philip Moser QC was also instructed for BBVS at an earlier stage of proceedings.

In a judgment handed down on 24 March 2021, the TCC (Fraser J) has provided important guidance on the circumstances in which interested parties to public procurement litigation may recover their costs, including costs incurred to protect commercially confidential information and comply with confidentiality ring provisions.

Though the proceedings in question were brought as a Part 7 claim in the TCC, Fraser J appeared to indicate that the principles outlined apply equally when a claim is commenced in the Administrative Court by way of judicial review. The judgment also states that one of the legal principles outlined will be relevant to whether a person can be joined as an interested party to proceedings in the first place.

The TCC’s application, on the facts of the case, of the principles from the House of Lords’ judgment in Bolton MDC v Secretary of State for the Environment [1995] 1 WLR may also be of wider relevance to other areas of litigation, in particular non-procurement claims for judicial review.

Please click here to read the full case note.