The position in relation to whether a plaintiff or a defendant can recover their legal costs against the other side when they succeed in a claim is , for most courts, an easy question to answer. In the vast majority of cases the court will make an order that the other side who has lost the court proceedings pay the costs of the successful party’s court proceedings. There are different types of costs orders and they can make a significant difference as to what you actually get back in your hand by way of reimbursement of those costs. Getting a costs order does not give you a right to recover all of your legal fees, and generally you will only be able to recover about 65 to 75% of your legal costs, unless you get a special costs order, usually referred to as “indemnity costs”. There are also some exceptions to the rule where the usual costs orders are not made. There are also cases where, even though you have been unsuccessful against a defendant, you can make another defendant liable for your legal costs where, for instance, you have sued two parties and are only successful against one party. This can occur where it is unclear and difficult for you to be able to identify whether the conduct which you sued upon was carried out by – for instance, a claim may be against a company and the director of the company who may have been acting outside the authority of the company. It may be that the director is personally liable but there is also a reasonable basis to think that the company may be liable. In such cases it is possible to get what the courts refer to as a “Bullock or Sanderson order”. A Bullock and Sanderson order allows you, in this instance where you have for example succeeded in a claim against the company only and not the personal director, to get an order to compel the company to be liable for the director’s own personal legal costs of the case, rather than the plaintiff. It can sometimes be difficult to identify where there are circumstances that these different types of costs orders can apply and this is something that an experienced litigation lawyer is usually able to identify at an early stage. It can also be important for this possibility of a costs order being raised by the lawyer at the outset of the case so that it is clear that if ultimately your case fails against one defendant because it is entirely the fault of the other, that you have set your case up in such a way that you are able to best protect your costs position. Costs orders are therefore sometimes as complex as the litigation themselves and, given that everybody wants to recover their legal costs if they are successful, are very important issues to consider upfront.