Alstom Power Ltd v Yokogawa Australia Pty Ltd (No2) [2006] SASC 87

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  • This decision concerned whether the applicant was entitled to have their costs paid on a forthwith basis for a failed application by the respondent to transfer the proceedings, rather than at the conclusion of the principle proceedings.
  • The general rule is that a taxation of costs will occur at the conclusion of the proceedings, unless the Court makes an order to the contrary.
  • The policy reasons for this general rule are, according to Sackville J in Courtney v Medtel Pty Ltd (No 3) [2004] FCA 347:
    • To discourage unnecessary interlocutory applications;
    • Avoiding the inconvenience and possible oppression involved in a series of taxations where there are successive interlocutory applications; and
    • The fact that it is usually inappropriate to require the unsuccessful party to interlocutory proceedings to pay costs immediately, since that party might ultimately succeed in the substantive proceedings and set‑offs can be made in light of the ultimate orders as to costs.


  • Did the circumstances of the case justify a departure from the usual rule as to costs?


  • Debelle J considered it appropriate to award the applicant its costs on a forthwith basis.
  • In doing so and considering the relevant authorities, Debelle J considered several circumstances when forthwith costs orders would be made:
    • Where the interlocutory proceeding represents the determination of a separately identifiable matter or may be viewed as a completion of a discrete aspect of the action;
    • Where there has been unreasonable conduct on the part of the party against whom costs have been order; and
    • Where the principal proceedings are not likely to be resolved for some time so that, in the absence of an order, the successful party will not enjoy the fruits of the interlocutory order for a long period.

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