Nockolds Obtains a Judgment for Costs on the Small Claims Track

Alex Haddad and Saagar Mehta were instructed to advise on a dispute in relation to a recruitment agency’s commission fee (“the Claimant”). Nockolds successfully defended the Court proceedings issued by the agency.


The claim put forward was that our client owed the agency commission after employing a candidate, which the Claimant had allegedly introduced. Our client was sent two anonymised CVs of the same candidate – one from another recruitment agency, and one from the Claimant. As the other recruitment agency provided the CV first, an interview was arranged, which resulted in the employment of the candidate and the payment of commission.

The interview set up through the Claimant was subsequently cancelled once the parties became aware that the candidate had already been interviewed. The Claimant then sought to recover a commission fee from our client.

Costs Judgment Awarded on Small Claims Track

Costs are not ordinarily awarded at the conclusion of a Small Claims trial (for disputes with a value of £10,000 and under) but are ‘subject to the Court’s discretion’. Representations were made that our client should be awarded its costs because the Claimant had behaved unreasonably.

The judge found that the claim was bordering on unarguable and bound to fail, along with a failure to sufficiently engage at the pre-action stage. Our client had a compelling case for their costs to be awarded.

Nockolds were able to successfully secure a judgment for costs, on the small claims track and were awarded 100% of the costs claimed.

In the first instance, it is very unusual to recover costs for the small claims track but to recover 100% of the costs was an exceptional result!

The Financial Controller of the client’s company commented:

“We are obviously delighted, not only by the judgement in our favour, but also by the Court awarding full costs to our benefit, which is very rare. Engaging into lengthy and costly proceedings is always a severe burden on any organisation, and Nockolds’ professional guidance to see us through the process was invaluable and most definitely one of the key reasons the other party got denied their claim. Many thanks to Alex, Saagar and all the other professionals who actively supported us over the six-month-period that it took to get the case resolved.”