The appellant, Mrs Lampert, had compromised proceedings brought against her and her husband in the Chancery Division for possession of a property over which the respondents had a charge. The Tomlin Order provided for a split of the proceeds of sale 50/50 between the respondents and the appellant in the event that the sale achieved in excess of £800,000. Following the sale of the property for £1.225m, the respondents discovered that a side arrangement had been made whereby the appellant had apparently sold the furniture and fixtures for £65,000. The respondents commenced proceedings to claim half the value of the side sale together with the sum of £12,000 that the Tomlin Order provided was to be paid on account to them. They obtained judgment for £32,500 plus £12,000 as security for the costs of the application. The respondents’ costs for the original proceedings were assessed at £48,845 and those for the detailed assessment proceedings themselves at £32,181.44, a total of £81,026.44.
Mrs Lampert raised two issues on appeal: (1) that the costs of the respondents’ solicitors in relation to Mr Lampert’s dealings with the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors should not have been included within the scope of the detailed assessment; (2) that a costs award of £81,026.44 was disproportionate given that the dispute was over a sum of £32,500.