The defendant costs specialists

Posts made in November, 2012

2011 Guideline Hourly Rates

By on Nov 8, 2012 | 4 comments

Readers will no doubt have noticed that the inside front cover of the Second Edition of Mark Friston’s Civil Costs: Law and Practice has guideline rates for the last few years. Where rates were not published in any given year, they have been extrapolated from other years. This applies to 2004 and 2011. Unfortunately, the footnote for 2011 has been omitted and as such it looks like the rates are published rates when in fact they are extrapolated. I understand the following erratum slip will be inserted in future copies: Erratum The table inside the front cover should have the following footnote relating to the rates for 2011: “These rates are extrapolated; in April 2011 the Master of the Rolls advised that 2010 rates should apply pending a review; that review has seemingly not taken place and as such it is arguable that extrapolated rates (i.e., those shown) should...

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Inaccurate costs estimate

By on Nov 6, 2012 | 7 comments

Costs Practice Direction 6.5A states: “(1) If there is a difference of 20% or more between the base costs claimed by a receiving party on detailed assessment and the costs shown in an estimate of costs filed by that party, the receiving party must provide a statement of the reasons for the difference with his bill of costs.” Has there ever been a more widely ignored Practice...

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Costs Council

By on Nov 2, 2012 | 0 comments

A new Costs Council was one of the recommendations of Lord Justice Jackson as an independent body to set the guideline hourly rates (GHR) every year, review fixed cost levels on a regular basis, and keep a watching brief on other issues, such as recoverable counsel’s fees and the cost of medical reports. However, in an announcement this week, the government said that the GHR would become the responsibility of a new sub-committee of the Civil Justice Council, while all other costs issues would rest with the Ministry of Justice – which may seek advice from the sub-committee. The Association of Costs Lawyers Chairman Iain Stark’s view is: “The decision is disappointing. The Costs Council was a worthy reform that would have provided certainty for the profession in the future and placed decisions in the hands of those at the coal face. It would also have ensured that fixed costs, which tend to stay untouched over many years, change to reflect rises in inflation. While the new sub-committee is a much diluted version of what Lord Justice Jackson proposed, any decision-making body made up of judges, costs lawyers and practitioners must be a good thing. Speaking at the ACL conference in May, the then Master of the Rolls, Lord Neuberger, said he would expect the ACL to be represented on a costs council. I hope and trust that his successor will take the same view for the...

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