Trafigura will vigorously contend the £105m legal fee put forward by Leigh Day & Co, claiming the amount is “wholly unjustified”.
Macfarlanes partner Simon Nurney, who represents the oil company, said that costs on the case had spiralled out of control.
“Our view is that, if the factual and expert evidence had been obtained up front, in line with the pre-action protocol, significant time and costs would have been avoided,” said Nurney. “By the end the claimants were forced to accept that, on the expert evidence, they couldn’t demonstrate any link to long-term or serious injuries.”
Leigh Day brought a £100m claim against Trafigura in November 2006 on behalf of 30,000 Ivory Coast residents who were alleged to have suffered illness after the company hired an independent contractor that dumped toxic waste around Ivory Coast capital Abidjan.
The case was settled in September, with Trafigura agreeing to pay out £30m without conceding liability.
Last week Leigh Day submitted a £105m costs estimate to the court, including a 100 per cent uplift on £45m in legal fees and a £10m legal expenses insurance premium.