The defendant costs specialists

Posts made in April, 2014

Provisional assessment

By on Apr 7, 2014 | 4 comments

Different courts are introducing their own directions as to the provisional assessment process (and rewriting the rules in places). The Senior Courts Costs Office requests that the receiving party’s full file of papers is filed with the Court rather than just the limited documents provided for within the Practice Direction. This is a very sensible requirement and the Practice Direction allows the Court to order the filing of any papers it considers appropriate (although the Practice Direction did not, perhaps, envisage that everything would be requested in every case). Other courts are ordering that “optional” Replies are served in every case. Some courts are expressly inviting parties to serve Replies not limited to points of principle and concessions only (in direct contradiction of PD 47 para.12.1). Other courts are annotating Precedent G: “in the absence of a reply from receiving party, I assess this item as per the paying party’s offer”, clearly not being aware why no reply has been given (see PD 47 para.12.1 again). This nonsense has to stop. A judge at a sufficiently senior level needs to get to grips with this urgently. It is perfectly possible (for “possible” read “obvious”) that the provisional assessment rules were not very well thought out or well drafted. Nevertheless, any revision to the rules should be applied consistently and after proper consultation (this could be done in the space of a few weeks with appropriate stakeholders), not piecemeal and at the whim of different judges rewriting the rules to their own design. There. I’ve said...

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Late service of Replies to Points of Dispute

By on Apr 3, 2014 | 23 comments

The issue over late service of optional Replies in detailed assessment proceedings rumbles on. I cannot comment on whether the Senior Courts Costs Office has developed a “policy” line on this point (other than referring you to paragraph 19.5 of the Senior Courts Costs Office Guide 2013) but can report on a recent decision before Master Gordon-Saker. Claimant made an application for permission to rely on Replies served out of time. Application dismissed with costs to the Defendant. Timescales set down in rules are there to be followed. No good reason put forward for late service. The hope that the cost of drafting Replies might be avoided by a negotiated settlement was not a “good reason”. None of this is to suggest the parties may not agree sensible extensions between themselves for service of Replies. The lesson is that if you wish to serve Replies after the date provided for by the rules, agreement should be reached before the deadline passes. If you wait until afterwards, you will have an uphill...

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Legal Costs Dating Service

By on Apr 1, 2014 | 11 comments

Online dating sites have made it easier than ever to meet intelligent, witty and attractive people. Unfortunately, they do not guarantee matching you up with people you share genuine interests with, especially if your only interest is costs law. The perils of office relationships act as their own barrier to finding love with those you might otherwise share your interest(s). The Legal Costs Blog is therefore delighted to announce the launch today of the Legal Costs Dating Service. This will put readers in touch with others who share a genuine passion for legal costs who are looking to take that passion to the next level. The Legal Costs Dating Service matches you with costs singles in your area based on key dimensions of compatibility (an interest in costs) proven to be the foundation for a long-term relationship. Members will receive personalised recommendations, can send and receive contact requests, share photos on a one-to-one basis and have unlimited communication with your recommended partners. Membership is £150 a quarter but we are offering a free 3 month membership to those who sign up TODAY only. If you would like to take advantage of this offer, please email a recent photo to dating@gwslaw.co.uk with “I’m looking for costs love” as the subject, sexual orientation and detailing the particular area of costs law you are interested in. Only those with a genuine passion for legal costs should apply. No time wasters...

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