Banque Nationale De Paris v Tan Nancy and Another

CourtCourt of Three Judges (Singapore)
JudgeChao Hick Tin JA
Judgment Date05 December 2001
Neutral Citation[2001] SGCA 78
Citation[2001] SGCA 78
Plaintiff CounselMichael Hwang SC, Christopher Anand Daniel (instructed) and Herman Jeremiah (Helen Yeo & Partners)
Defendant CounselChiah Kok Khun and Simon Jones (Wee Swee Teow & Co),Philip Fong and Jenny Chang (Harry Elias Partnership)
Subject MatterCivil Procedure,Whether actual or apparent authority,Principles governing award of costs,Appellant's employee conducting transactions in shares and foreign exchange on respondents' accounts,Agency,Construction of agent’s authority,Costs,Costs following the event,Whether authority given to conduct disputed transactions,Whether to allow successful appellants costs for more than one solicitor,Whether to allow appellants separate set of costs against each respondent,O 59 r 19 Rules of Court,Whether to allow successful appellants costs at trial and at appeal
Published date19 September 2003
Docket Number–Civil Appeal No 168 of 2000
Date05 December 2001



1. When we delivered our judgment on 21 November 2001, we had reservations whether the general rule that costs follow the event should apply in the circumstances of this case. We therefore invited counsel to submit written arguments on the question of costs. Accordingly, written arguments from counsel were submitted, which we have now considered.

2. We think that there are good reasons why we should not apply the general rule here with regard to costs here and below. In the proceedings below, BNP raised numerous claims against the respondents, which took up a great deal of the time and occasioned considerable costs. In our view, their claims against the respondents for dishonestly assisting Gary to commit a breach of his fiduciary duties to BNP, for procuring Gary to commit a breach of contract, for conspiracy to injure BNP, and for breach of duty by the respondents to BNP, had no merits and should not have been raised at all. These heads of claim formed a very substantial part of what they had pleaded in the amended statement of claim From the judgment below, it appears that lengthy arguments had been addressed to the judge on these claims. Instead, BNP should have focussed their attention on the following issues: (i) whether the respondents knew or were aware that Gary was carrying out the transactions in question in their names and for their account, and (ii) whether Gary had actual and/or apparent authority to carry out such transactions 3. In our judgment, BNP had raised claims and issues which unnecessarily protracted proceedings below and added to the complexity of those proceedings. In the circumstances, they should not be allowed the whole of the costs below. We would award BNP only 25% of the costs below. We so order 4 Before us, counsel for BNP submits that a certificate of two counsel under O 59, r 19 should be allowed on the ground that the appeal involved complex issues of fact and law, and the documents and record of the trial were voluminous. We do not agree. We did not find any complex issues of fact or law raised in the appeal. The main issues were the two referred to in 2 on which we said that BNP should have focussed their attention. It is true that the documents and record of the trial were voluminous, but that was due substantially to the manner in which BNP had presented their case below. Further, a great deal of the documents before us consisted of forms of acknowledgements and confirmations, which in...

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9 cases
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    ...Chai & Rama) for the third party. Anwar bin Ibrahim v Abdul Khalid [2001] 5 MLJ 48 (refd) Banque Nationale de Paris v Tan Nancy [2001] 3 SLR (R) 726; [2002] 1 SLR 29 (distd) Barclays Bank Ltd v Cole [1967] 2 QB 738 (refd) Chang Chong Foo v Shivanathan [1992] 2 MLJ 473 (refd) Cheong Ghim Fah......
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    ...the case implied authority may have been given by HKC to HKA. The Court of Appeal in Banque Nationale de Paris v Tan Nancy and another [2001] 3 SLR(R) 726 (“BNP”) referred at [64] to Hely-Hutchinson v Brayhead Ltd [1968] 1 QB 549 at 583; [1967] 3 All ER 98 at 102, in which Lord Denning MR s......
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