The defendant costs specialists

Posts made in July, 2013

Part 36 offers in costs proceedings

By on Jul 29, 2013 | 50 comments

The new CPR introduced Part 36 offers into detailed assessment proceedings and I am now starting to see the first Part 36 offers coming through. (I’ll ignore for the moment the fact that a number of these don’t count as detailed assessment proceedings had already been commenced before 1 April 2013.) I’ve never seen so many wholly defective Part 36 offers in such a short period of time. Most of these don’t even come close to being valid Part 36 offers. I see an opportunity for Professor Dominic Regan not to offer his usual masterclass in Part 36 offers but rather an idiot’s guide for beginners. But then, I suppose those drafting these documents don’t (yet) realise they are defective and don’t know they need remedial help....

Read More

Relief from sanctions application

By on Jul 23, 2013 | 3 comments

With the new, stricter, test for relief from sanctions applications I wonder how often we’ll hear the comments of His Honour Judge Simon Brown QC in Earles v Barclays Bank plc [2009] EWHC 2500 being quoted where there has been a failure to comply with a notification requirement in relation to an additional liability: “The Practice Direction is in the Civil Procedure Rules and those practising in civil courts are expected to know the rules and practice them; it is gross incompetence not...

Read More

Court dress code

By on Jul 22, 2013 | 6 comments

The Telegraph reports: “In Blackpool, the heat on Friday had got to two young women who arrived at the magistrates court for a hearing. The women were refused entry because they were wearing only bikinis – not considered appropriate attire for a court. ‘Their dress option was inappropriate despite the heatwave,’ said a court spokesman. The women, both in their 20s, were turned away by security staff at the entrance and ordered to return more suitably dressed.” I never knew Court dress code was so strict. That’s £4.49 on a mankini...

Read More

Court fees for provisional assessment

By on Jul 17, 2013 | 1 comment

I’ve updated Legal Costs Central with a link to the new Civil Proceedings Fees (Amendment No.2) Order 2013 which gives the new court fees for provisional assessment. Oh. Wait. No it doesn’t. The fees for requesting a provisional assessment (average court time taken up of 37 minutes during the pilot scheme) are the same as those for requesting a full detailed assessment hearing with one day time estimate. What a...

Read More

Papers to be lodged in provisional assessment

By on Jul 15, 2013 | 18 comments

The concerns the Senior Court Costs Office has over the ability to properly undertake a provisional assessment based on the limited documents required to be lodged with the court has apparently led them to recommend to receiving parties that they lodge the full file when requesting assessment. The SCCO has apparently decided not to make this a mandatory requirement as they do not believe they have the power so to order, although they are of the view that parties who fail to lodge the full file will be at a serious disadvantage. I understand a North East Regional Costs Judge has given similar guidance and expressed the same view as to the courts’ powers. In fact, I think the rules are clear that the courts can order that the full file is lodged, if they so wish. In relation to provisional assessment, PD 47 paragraph 14.2 reads: “The following provisions of Part 47 and this Practice Direction will apply to cases falling within rule 47.15 – (1) rules 47.1, 47.2, 47.4 to 47.13, 47.14 (except paragraphs (6) and (7)), 47.16, 47.17, 47.20 and 47.21; and (2) paragraphs 1, 2, 4 to 12, 13 (with the exception of paragraphs 13.4 to 13.7, 13.9, 13.11 and 13.14), 15, and 16, of this Practice Direction.” Therefore, paragraph 13.13 of the PD does apply. That reads: “13.13 The court may direct the receiving party to produce any document which in the opinion of the court is necessary to enable it to reach its decision. These documents will in the first instance be produced to the court, but the court may ask the receiving party to elect whether to disclose the particular document to the paying party in order to rely on the contents of the document, or whether to decline disclosure and instead rely on other evidence.” The courts therefore do have the power to order that the documents to produce include the full file. Whether it is appropriate for the courts to be making blanket orders to make up for the shortcomings of the rules is another...

Read More