Recovering photocopying costs
CPD 4.16(5) is well known:
“The cost of making copies of documents will not in general be allowed but the court may exceptionally in its discretion make an allowance for copying in unusual circumstances or where the documents copied are unusually numerous in relation to the nature of the case. Where this discretion is invoked the number of copies made, their purpose and the costs claimed for them must be set out in the bill.”
However, I am grateful to Friston’s Civil Costs – Law and Practice for reminding me of the views of Evans J in Johnson v Reed Corrugated Cases Ltd (1990) Costs LR, Core vol 180 at 185.
“[Counsel for the receiving party] submitted that the maximum number of pages which might require copying in a personal injury case of a normal kind would be 1,000, and that therefore this case did involve an unusual number. I sympathise with this submission, but I am troubled that neither the plaintiffs nor the registrar have made an allowance for the number which in the normal case would form part of the solicitor’s general overheads.”
Where the Court does invoke its discretion to allow photocopying it should allow only a reasonable amount for the costs in excess of those that would have been incurred under normal circumstances.