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30 Aug 2012
Appeal Status

Costs reduced due to arithmetical error

2012 case note – High Court reduced costs following arithmetical mistakes in judgment - costs awarded, arithmetical errors, disbursements.

Chesterfields Preschools Limited & Others v Commissioner of Inland Revenue


On 29 June 2012, the High Court ordered a total of $261,089.20 in costs to the plaintiffs and reserved leave for applications for additional disbursements, to correct arithmetical mistakes or to pursue arguments on the case management conference costs. The Commissioner applied to the Court to correct arithmetical mistakes in the judgment.

Impact of decision

The costs awarded to the plaintiffs were reduced by $31,200.


The Commissioner argued that there were arithmetical errors in the judgment of 29 June 2012, which resulted in an extra 19.5 days ($31,200) being awarded to the plaintiffs.

Mr Hampton for the plaintiffs argued that the Commissioner ignored the schedule of disbursements he had provided. The plaintiffs claimed $62,597.92 less undisputed disbursements of $41,969, leaving a balance of $20,628.72 disbursements in dispute.

Mr Hampton also argued that case management conference attendances should also be included. The Commissioner argued that the attendances (various minutes and memoranda) do not justify any further costs award.


Justice Fogarty accepted that there had been an arithmetical error in his judgment of 29 June 2012. Judgment was entered in favour of the plaintiffs against the Commissioner in the sum of $229,889.20. Leave was reserved for further submissions on the plaintiffs' claim for additional disbursements. Leave was also reserved for further submissions on case management conference attendances. Costs are reserved.

High Court Rules