Home Information Cases Cantor Index Ltd v Alan John Lister (2002)

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Cantor Index Ltd v Alan John Lister (2002)


Although the defendant was entitled to a sum for past and future living expenses to be paid out of monies paid into court, the amount sought for past legal fees was reduced because it was considered "conspicuously extravagant".


Application by the defendant ('D') pursuant to the decision of Neuberger J of 22 November 2001 (see Cantor Index Ltd v Alan John Lister (2001) LTL 23/11/2001) for past and future legal costs and living expenses to be paid out of monies paid into court standing at £142,818. D applied for: (i) living expenses from the date of that judgment to the date of the hearing at £500 per week, amounting to £6,000; (ii) future living expenses for the three months following the hearing, amounting to £6,000; (iii) past legal expenses resulting from D's instructions concerning the proceedings amounting to £91,287; and (iv) future legal expenses of some £7,000 relating to this action and other actions. The sum total claimed being £139,000.


(1) If D's application succeeded as to the whole amount, then the monies in court, the main aim of which was to protect D's creditors, merely secured the personal advancement/preference of D himself as to his own expenses and those of his lawyer at the expense of other creditors. (2) The amount sought for legal fees was "conspicuously extravagant" as: (a) the extent of the application of that legal advice appeared not to have been reasoned. All the costs incurred in the Cantor action were as result of D's attempt to try and get his hands on the money so he could spend it on his living and legal expenses; and (b) it should be taken into account that D was technically insolvent and almost the whole of his legal expenses appeared to have been incurred in an attempt to get his hands on money he would not have been entitled to if he was actually insolvent pursuant to a court order. On the evidence, £20,000 was an appropriate figure to award for the Cantor action with a further £10,000 incurred as a result of another action and £3,000 for future legal costs. (3) The claim for living expenses was allowed.

Chancery Division
Bernard Livesey QC
Judgment date
21 February 2002

​LTL 22/2/2002