Costs management hearings
The Association of Costs Lawyers’ submissions to the Civil Justice Council on the impact of the Jackson reforms included:
“One court is dealing with case management on one day and then costs budgeting on a second day. This seems to be appreciated as it enables budgets to be adjusted to meet the case management decisions.”
It may be appreciated but it completely undermines the costs budgeting process. Case management and costs management are meant to go hand-in-hand. If the budgets appear disproportionate, the court adapts the case management decisions to reduce the work required and reduces the parties’ budgets accordingly. It should be clear from a properly drafted budget what impact reducing, for example, the number of expert witnesses will have. Or, at the very least, this information should be available at the case management/costs management hearing so the judge can make informed decisions. How can a judge make proportionate case management decisions if he does not know what size budgets these will produce?
Judges who are ordering split hearings are flying in the face of the judicial training on this.