LK Ang Construction Pte Ltd v Chubb Singapore Pte Ltd (judgment on costs)

CourtHigh Court (Singapore)
JudgeKan Ting Chiu J
Judgment Date29 October 2003
Neutral Citation[2003] SGHC 263
Citation[2003] SGHC 263
Subject MatterWhether initial offer deemed withdrawn by final offer,Civil Procedure,Implications on costs,Whether judgment sum more favourable than offer,Order 22A r 9 of the Rules of Court (Cap 322, R 5, 1997 Rev Ed),Offer to settle
Defendant CounselWong Yoong Phin (Wong Yoong Phin and Co)
Published date07 November 2003
Plaintiff CounselRaymond Chan (Chan Tan LLC)
Date29 October 2003
Docket NumberSuit No 355 of 2002

1. The plaintiff sued the defendant for breach of contract and libel. The plaintiff failed on the former and succeeded in the latter. I entered interlocutory judgment for the plaintiff on 18 December 2002 with damages to be assessed and reserved costs as counsel informed me that there were offers of settlement from the defendant.

2. On 25 May 2003 the damages were assessed at $15,000 with interest at 6% p.a. from the date of the writ to the date of assessment, which worked out to $424.84. The plaintiff’s appeal from the assessment was dismissed.

3. The defendant had made two offers of settlement. The first offer was made on 5 August 2002 for $20,000 in full and final settlement of the plaintiff’s claim. On 20 September, the defendant made a second offer of $30,000 inclusive of costs. Both offers were made on a global basis for the plaintiff’s claims in contract and libel.

4. Neither offer was accepted, and the matter proceeded to trial between 30 September and 4 October 2002.

5. After the dismissal of the plaintiff’s appeal on the damages, parties came back to me on the reserved costs of the trial.

6. Both parties presented their arguments with reference to the second offer. I will refer to the status of the offers in a later part of these grounds.

7. Costs in such a situation is governed by Order 22A rule 9(3) of the Rules of Court which provides that

Where an offer to settle made by a defendant –

(a) is not withdrawn and has not expired before the disposal of the claim in respect of which the offer to settle is made; and

(b) is not accepted by the plaintiff, and the plaintiff obtains judgment not more favourable than the terms of the offer to settle,

the plaintiff is entitled to costs on the standard basis to the date the offer was served and the defendant is entitled to costs on the indemnity basis from that date, unless the Court orders otherwise.

8. The defendant contended that as the plaintiff had obtained judgment of $15,424.84 ($15,000 principal sum plus $424.84 interest) without taking costs into account, it is only entitled standard costs up to 20 September and the defendant is entitled to indemnity costs from 21 September unless the plaintiff obtained costs of more than $14,575.16 as at 20 September, so that the total judgment sum will be less than the offer made.

9. The plaintiff submitted that the $30,000 offered was less than the amount the plaintiff would recover inclusive of costs because the plaintiff’s costs would exceed $15,000 if taxed. Since the costs were not determined no one can say with certainty whether the judgment sum was more or less favourable than the offer.

10. The plaintiff argued in the alternative that the offer to settle inclusive of costs is ambiguous and ineffectual. Reference was made to Associated Confectionery (Aust) Ltd v Mineral and Chemical...

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5 cases
  • Ram Das v N P v SIA Engineering Company Ltd
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 19 Marzo 2015
    ...v Council on Mind Abuse (C.O.M.A.) Inc et al (1995) 121 DLR (4 th) 734 (folld) LK Ang Construction Pte Ltd v Chubb Singapore Pte Ltd [2004] 1 SLR (R) 134; [2004] 1 SLR 134 (folld) Lu Bang Song v Teambuild Construction Pte Ltd [2009] SGHC 49 (refd) Mahoney v Curwood Transport Ltd [1998] NJ N......
  • Michael Vaz Lorrain v Singapore Rifle Association
    • Singapore
    • Court of Three Judges (Singapore)
    • 20 Noviembre 2020
    ...court endorsed the broad approach taken by the High Court in LK Ang Construction Pte Ltd v Chubb Singapore Pte Ltd (judgment on costs) [2004] 1 SLR(R) 134 (“LK Ang”). This court reiterated the relevant principles (at [25]): Order 22A r 9(3) provides that the defendant should be awarded cost......
  • Resorts World at Sentosa Pte Ltd v Goel Adesh Kumar and another appeal
    • Singapore
    • Court of Three Judges (Singapore)
    • 2 Octubre 2018
    ...Goel Adesh Kumar v Resorts World at Sentosa Pte Ltd [2015] SGHC 289 (refd) LK Ang Construction Pte Ltd v Chubb Singapore Pte Ltd [2004] 1 SLR(R) 134; [2004] 1 SLR 134 (refd) Man B&W Diesel S E Asia Pte Ltd v PT Bumi International Tankers [2004] 3 SLR(R) 267; [2004] 3 SLR 267 (folld) NTUC Fo......
  • NTUC Foodfare Co-operative Ltd v SIA Engineering Co Ltd and another
    • Singapore
    • Court of Three Judges (Singapore)
    • 5 Septiembre 2018
    ...satisfied. Such an approach was taken by the High Court in LK Ang Construction Pte Ltd v Chubb Singapore Pte Ltd (judgment on costs) [2004] 1 SLR(R) 134 (“LK Ang”). In that case, the defendant had filed an OTS proposing to pay the plaintiff S$30,000 inclusive of costs to settle their disput......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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