Lionel Goldstein v Ronald Conley (2001)


The Lands Tribunal had jurisdiction to make an award of costs against the unsuccessful party on an appeal from the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. Such an award was enforceable by the High Court by action at common law. * Leave to appeal to the House of Lords pending.


Appeal by the defendant ('the tenant') from: (a) that part of the decision of Judge Rich by which he ordered the tenant to pay the landlord's costs of an appeal to the Lands Tribunal from the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal ('LVT'); and (b) the order of Gray J on 12 June 2000 dismissing the tenant's appeal from summary judgment granted to the landlord by Master Rose on 13 March 2000 on an action in the High Court to enforce the taxed amount of those costs. In July 1996 the LVT determined, pursuant to the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993, that the appropriate premium to be paid by the tenant to the landlord for the grant of a new lease was £143,000. By the 1993 Act the LVT had no jurisdiction to make any order for costs incurred "in connection with proceedings" before it. The landlord's appeal to the Lands Tribunal (HH Judge Rich) was allowed. The parties having agreed that the costs of the appeal should follow the event, the judge made an order to that effect. The landlord's costs were taxed in the absence of the tenant. After an abortive attempt to enforce the costs in the county court, the landlord commenced a writ action in the High Court, in respect of which he made application for summary judgment. The tenant resisted that application on the grounds that: (i) the High Court had no jurisdiction to enforce an order of the Lands Tribunal as to costs; and (ii) in any event, the Lands Tribunal had no jurisdiction to make an order for costs on an appeal from the LVT in relation to proceedings under the 1993 Act, since they were costs "in connection with proceedings" before the LVT, and hence the order of the Lands Tribunal was incapable of enforcement. Gray J rejected both arguments and confirmed summary judgment for the landlord. The tenant was granted permission to appeal from both the order of Gray J and the order of Judge Rich.


(1) The High Court had jurisdiction to enforce an award for costs made by the Lands Tribunal by entertaining an action at common law. (2) The order of the Lands Tribunal as to costs was enforceable because the costs of the appeal to it were not costs in connection with the proceedings before the LVT. (3) (per Clarke LJ, Sir Anthony Evans dissenting and Mantell LJ expressing no opinion) The order of the Lands Tribunal as to costs was also in principle enforceable by granting leave under s.66 Arbitration Act 1996, which applied by reason of r.32(d) Lands Tribunal Rules 1996 as amended. However, on the facts of the instant case, only the action at common law was available because r.32(d) was not in force at the relevant time.

Appeals dismissed.