Northbridge Consulting v. Quigley, 2015 NSSC 49

Judge:Coady, J.
Court:Supreme Court of Nova Scotia
Case Date:February 06, 2015
Jurisdiction:Nova Scotia
Citations:2015 NSSC 49;(2015), 356 N.S.R.(2d) 1 (SC)
 
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Northbridge Consulting v. Quigley (2015), 356 N.S.R.(2d) 1 (SC);

    1126 A.P.R. 1

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Temp. Cite: [2015] N.S.R.(2d) TBEd. FE.028

Northbridge Consulting Services Inc., a corporation (plaintiff) v. Jason Quigley, an individual Steven Grant, an individual Duncan Murray, an individual and Southridge Technical Services Ltd., a corporation (defendants)

(Hfx. No. 352633; 2015 NSSC 49)

Indexed As: Northbridge Consulting Services Inc. v. Quigley et al.

Nova Scotia Supreme Court

Coady, J.

February 17, 2015.

Summary:

Northbridge Consulting Services Inc. assisted companies in the preparation of the technical and financial aspects of making claims for the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR & ED) tax incentive program. The individual defendants were former Northbridge employees. Northbridge suspected the individual defendants were marketing SR & ED services on behalf of a company named Southridge Technical Services Inc. while employed by Northbridge. Northbridge brought an action against Southridge and the individual defendants. Northbridge was granted summary judgment on the basis that the individual defendants breached expressed and implied terms of their employment contract with Northbridge and that Southridge induced the individual defendants to breach the terms of their employment contract with Northbridge. Damages were to be determined by way of an assessment hearing.

The Nova Scotia Supreme Court, in a decision reported at (2014), 351 N.S.R.(2d) 348; 1111 A.P.R. 348, awarded Northbridge $315,831 in damages plus 3% interest. The court declined to award punitive damages or solicitor and clients costs. Northbridge sought its costs, requesting a lump sum award of $132,000 plus disbursements.

The Nova Scotia Supreme Court held that this case called for a lump sum award. The court awarded Northbridge costs in the amount of $66,000 plus $5,478.53 in disbursements. The cost award was joint and several to all four defendants.

Practice - Topic 7020

Costs - Party and party costs - Entitlement to - Successful party - General principles - [See Practice - Topic 7117] .

Practice - Topic 7030

Costs - Party and party costs - Entitlement to party and party costs - Where success or fault divided - [See Practice - Topic 7117 ].

Practice - Topic 7065

Costs - Party and party costs - Counsel fees - Lump sum - [See Practice - Topic 7117 ].

Practice - Topic 7117

Costs - Party and party costs - Special orders - Lump sum in lieu of taxed costs - Northbridge Consulting Services Inc. was awarded $315,831 in damages plus 3% interest in an assessment of damages hearing - That assessment followed a summary judgment application in which the defendants conceded breach of contract and a corporate inducement to breach the contract - Northbridge sought its costs - It requested a lump sum award of $132,000 plus disbursements - Northbridge provided evidence that it incurred $191,617.50 in legal fees and $5,478.53 in disbursements between August 2, 2011 and December 31, 2014 - The Nova Scotia Supreme Court rejected the defendants' position that they were largely successful - The court recognized that the defendants successfully turned back an application for an interlocutory injunction, that the $315,831 awarded represented only 24% of the damages sought, and that Northbridge failed in its claims for solicitor-client costs and significant punitive damages - However, those litigation successes had to be viewed in the context of the overall case - For the purpose of this costs application, the court considered Northbridge to be the successful party - The court rejected the defendants' position that Tariff C or, alternatively, Tariff A, applied - Applying those Tariffs would not do justice as between the parties - The court concluded that this case called for a lump sum award - Such an award did not require "exceptional circumstances" - Lump sum awards were appropriate when party-and-party costs under the tariff were inadequate - The court awarded Northbridge costs in the amount of $66,000 plus $5,478.53 in disbursements.

Cases Noticed:

Landymore et al. v. Hardy et al. (1992), 112 N.S.R.(2d) 410; 307 A.P.R. 410 (T.D.), refd to. [para. 9].

Williamson v. Williams (1998), 223 N.S.R.(2d) 78; 705 A.P.R. 78; 1998 NSCA 195, refd to. [para. 9].

Geophysical Services Inc. v. Sable Mary Seismic Inc. et al. (2010), 299 N.S.R.(2d) 42; 947 A.P.R. 42; 2010 NSSC 357, refd to. [para. 15].

Boutcher et al. v. Clearwater Seafoods Limited Partnership (2010), 290 N.S.R.(2d) 293; 920 A.P.R. 293; 2010 NSSC 64, refd to. [para. 16].

Bevis et al. v. CTV Inc. et al. (2004), 228 N.S.R.(2d) 34; 723 A.P.R. 34; 2004 NSSC 209, refd to. [para. 17].

Counsel:

John T. Shanks and Rick M. Dunlop, for the plaintiff;

James D. MacNeil and Ian Brown, for the defendants.

This matter was determined by Coady, J., of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, based on written submissions made on January 26 and February 6, 2015. Coady, J., delivered the following decision on costs on February 17, 2015.

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