Referring to Cavendish Square Holding BV v Talal El Makdessi (Rev 3) [2015] UKSC 67, this website alleges (The judgment itself doesn't reveal this):

Moloney did however allow the decision to be appealed and arranged for the case to be fast tracked to the Court of Appeal. Of the two defendents, Barry Beavis decided to appeal, Wardley settled. ParkingEye agreed to waive their legal costs allowing Beavis to appeal without fear of huge costs should he lose. [I bolded.] Sa’ad Hossain QC agreed to represent Beavis the case on a pro-bono basis.

In Delta Air Lines Inc. v. Lukács, 2018 SCC 2, Abella J. wrote:

[67] I would allow the appeal and restore the Agency’s decision. Delta is not seeking costs.

In both cases, waiving their legal costs disadvantages the (corporate) appellants, because legal costs can deter a litigant. So why disadvantage themselves? Please see the question in title.

  • Those large companies may have payroll lawyers so they are paying for the lawyer anyway, but I'm not sure that was the situation in the referenced cases.
    – Ron Beyer
    Nov 9, 2018 at 3:19

2 Answers 2


Two reasons that spring to mind:

  1. The Respondent wanted the appeal to proceed so that they would have definitive case law from a higher court. That is they thought they would win and, quite possibly, the appellant thought they would win too. Rolling the dice on a losing proposition is not so bad if you have no skin in the game so the Respondent is encouraging the appeal.
  2. Its a commercial PR decision - it looks bad in the press if you use your money and power to prevent someone from pursuing their legal rights. This way, they can put their hand on their hearts and say "we gave them every opportunity to prove us wrong".

I have no idea what the case is about, but if it was about anything reflecting possibly badly on Cavendish, then after winning in a lower court people would say "they won the case, but only because they have more money and the other side couldn't afford to appeal", making Cavendish look bad in the public opinion.

By paying for the appeal, and winning, the public will now say "they won the case fair and square, because they were in the right, and it was also very nice of them not to put the plaintiff into debt", making them look a lot better in the public opinion.

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