Jurong Shipyard Pte Ltd v Petrorig I Pte Ltd

JurisdictionSingapore
Judgment Date12 March 2010
Date12 March 2010
Docket NumberOriginating Summons No 854 of 2009
CourtHigh Court (Singapore)
Jurong Shipyard Pte Ltd
Plaintiff
and
Petrorig I Pte Ltd and others
Defendant

[2010] SGHC 79

Choo Han Teck J

Originating Summons No 854 of 2009 (Registrar's Appeal No 75 of 2010)

High Court

Civil Procedure—Interpleader—Appeals—

Civil Procedure—Interpleader—Costs—Which party should bear costs

The first defendant engaged the plaintiff to build a rig. However, the first defendant subsequently defaulted on its payment obligations and the plaintiff exercised its rights under the contract and terminated it. There were some equipment that had to be excluded from the plaintiff's forced sale of the rig as they belonged to third parties. The third and fourth defendants owned some of these equipment. At the material time, the second defendant was the first defendant's project manager in Singapore. The plaintiff sold the rig and kept the third party equipment in storage. The first defendant's lawyers in the United States gave notice of claim over the third party equipment and had by this time applied for the statutory protection known as ‘Chapter 11’ bankruptcy protection in the United States. The plaintiff applied by way of this originating summons for an interpleader determination of ownership of the said equipment. When the parties had filed and served their affidavits the first defendant withdrew its claim to the third party equipment, leaving it uncontested at the hearing below except for the plaintiff's claim for costs and expenses. The assistant registrar ordered that the third and fourth defendants pay for costs and expenses of storage and removal. The third defendant appealed against the decision. The fourth defendant did not appeal.

Held, dismissing the appeal:

(1) The governing rule was O 17 r 8 of the Rules of Court (Cap 322, R 5, 2006 Rev Ed) but that rule was only stating a broad proposition that the court should make such orders as might be just: at [6].

(2) Although De Rothschild Freres v Morrison, Kekewich & Co [1890] 24 QBD 750 stood for the authority in which the claimant who relinquished its claim was ordered to pay the costs of the successful claimant as well as the costs of the interpleader, including its storage costs, it was but an example of how this rule might be applied, and not authority that the costs should be borne by the losing claimant under all circumstances: at [6].

(3) The plaintiff might, in the circumstances, have more difficulty getting payment for its costs against the first defendant as the first defendant was already seeking Chapter 11 protection in the United States: at [6].

(4) The wide ambit of O 17 r 8 entitled the assistant registrar, in the circumstances, to order the third defendant to pay the plaintiff's costs and expenses and for the third defendant to seek an indemnity from its related company: at [6].

De Rothschild Freres v Morrison, Kekewich & Co (1890) 24 QBD 750 (refd)

Rules of Court (Cap 322, R 5, 2006 Rev Ed) O 17 r 8

Srivathsan A/L Dr R Rajagopalan and Puja Varaprasad (Haridass Ho & Partners) for the plaintiff

Francis Goh (Harry Elias Partnership LLP) for the first defendant

Leong Lu Yuan (Ang & Partners) for the third defendant.

Judgment reserved.

Choo Han Teck J

1 The plaintiff was engaged to build a rig for the first defendant. The first defendant subsequently defaulted on its payment obligations and the plaintiff exercised its rights under the contract and terminated it. There were some equipment on or intended for the rig that had to be excluded from the plaintiff's forced sale of the rig as they belonged to third parties. At the material time, the second defendant was the first defendant's project manager in Singapore. They identified the equipment that belonged to third parties and marked them out. Some of that equipment belonged to the third and fourth defendants.

2 The plaintiff sold the rig sometime...

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1 cases
  • BFC v Comptroller of Income Tax
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 9 September 2013
    ...in nature. In Singapore, the test to be applied in distinguishing capital from revenue expenditure was settled in the seminal decision of ABD v Comptroller Income Tax [2010] 3 SLR 209 (“ABD”). In ABD at [75], Andrew Phang Boon Leong JA summarised the position as follows: … In ascertaining w......
2 books & journal articles
  • Civil Procedure
    • Singapore
    • Singapore Academy of Law Annual Review No. 2010, December 2010
    • 1 December 2010
    ...to the effect that costs should be borne by the losing claimant in all circumstances: Jurong Shipyard Pte Ltd v Petrorig I Pte Ltd [2010] 3 SLR 209. Judgments, orders and their enforcement 8.67 The principles formulated by the Court of Appeal in Su Sh-Hsyu v Wee Yue Chew [2007] 3 SLR(R) 673......
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    • Singapore
    • Singapore Academy of Law Journal No. 2015, December 2015
    • 1 December 2015
    ...moneys spent would likewise be capital expenditure, under the test for capital expenditure laid down in ABD v Comptroller of Income Tax[2010] 3 SLR 209. 41 For avoidance of doubt, as discussed in the preceding paragraphs, Wharf Properties Ltd v Commissioner of Inland Revenue (Hong Kong)[199......

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