Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Party and Party Costs Definition:

The standard award of costs being, in the result, a partial indemnity to the successful party to litigation for his or her litigation expenses.

Related Terms: Solicitor and Client Costs, Solicitor and Own Client Costs, Costs in the Cause, Costs in any Event of the Cause, Costs

Party and party costs is the standard designation of the ordinary costs award; it is generally the equivalent of an awards of costs.

Mark Orkin writes:

"The expression party and party costs stands as the generic term for costs payable by one litigant to an opposing litigant."

In Fullerton, Justice Cumming adopted these words:

"The fundamental principle of costs as between party and party is that they are given by the court as an indemnity to the person entitled to them; they are not imposed as punishment on the person who must pay them. Party-and-party costs are in effect damages awarded to the successful litigant as compensation for the expense to which he has been put by reason of the litigation."

In McCarthy, Justice Sinclair made reference to "the general rule that costs awarded to a successful litigant are to be taxed as between party and party" and defined party and party costs as:

"Party-and-party costs — to provide partial indemnity for costs the successful party must pay his own solicitor."


  • Duhaime, Lloyd, The Law of Costs: Justice's Boogeyman
  • Fullerton v. Matsqui, 74 B.C.L.R. (2d) 311, 12 C.P.C. (3d) 319, 19 B.C.A.C. 284, 34 W.A.C. 284
  • McCarthy v Calgary Roman Catholic Separate School District, [1980] 5 W.W.R. 524, 17 C.P.C. 115, 30 A.R. 208 and at 1980 CarswellAlta 254
  • Orkin, Mark, The Law of Costs, 2nd Ed. (Toronto: Canada Law Book, 2010).

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