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Costs awarded against trustee: Mawhinney v Auckland Council

The recent decsion in Mawhinney v Auckland Council serves to highlight the fact that even if a person is appearing as a trustee of a trust (as an unrepresented lay litigant) costs remain a live issue.  While the Court did not award the costs against Mr Mawhinney personally, the award, which was on a mixture of 2B (standard) and 2C plus uplift (higher) basis, the costs must now be borne by the trust.

The case also highlights the possibility that in some circumstances a trustee can face a costs award in a personal rather than trustee capacity such that the trustee may not be able to recoup the costs from the relevant trust.

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