Circle Bridge in the Supreme Court: Awarding of gross sum costs

August 25, 2022

In the case of Hoho Property Pty Ltd v Bass Finance No 37 Pty Ltd [2022], Circle Bridge Legal successfully had our client awarded “gross sum” costs.

A gross sum costs order is when the Court approximates costs against a party in litigation. It avoids a cost assessment, which is often lengthy and costly. In this instance, the judgment was made in our favour, a significant outcome in favour of our client.


We brought forth an application for an amendment to our client’s pleadings, which led to the vacation of the trial.

Here, our client borrowed $2.35 million from the first defendant, secured over a development site in Liverpool and the clients’ family home in Cabramatta. The second defendant was our client’s finance broker.

Our advocacy

The proceedings initially included a regime which prevented the financier from enforcing its rights under the finance documents. 

We sought declarations that the finance documents were void or, alternatively, orders setting aside the finance documents on the grounds of duress or unconscionable conduct.

We also sought relief that the broker was not entitled to its fee of $200,000 and we proposed amendments to the Summons and Commercial List Statement.

Further, we filed a motion seeking leave to amend their claim against the finance broker to seek damages if the finance documents were found to be enforceable.

Suggestions were made by the defendants regarding the amount of costs thrown away by reason of the amendment and the vacation of the hearing. 

We submitted that there was no evidence before the Court to support the defendants’ figures.

Our success

The Judge made orders granting our clients leave to amend. Further, an order was made that the first defendant was entitled to a specified gross sum in the amount of $35,000 (exclusive of GST) in respect of the costs order made.

The same order was also given to the second defendant.

The amounts in the two orders were ordered to be paid within 28 days, failing which the defendants were given the right to apply on two days’ notice to seek a stay of the proceedings.

Our pursuit of our clients’ intended outcomes in a challenging context was noteworthy for its tenacity and robustness. A gross sum costs order can be challenging to obtain, but we were able to do so in this particular instance. 

If you need legal assistance regarding your commercial matter, get in touch with us to see how we can assist you.

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Circle Bridge Legal is a leading Western Sydney law firm at the heart of Australia’s next growth engine. Located in the hub of activity generated by Sydney’s upcoming second international airport [Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport], our ambitions are as grand as our region’s.

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