The defendant costs specialists

Posts made in September, 2015

New Precedent Q

By on Sep 29, 2015 | 2 comments

CPR 47.6 is amended from 1 October 2015 such that the documents to be served when commencing detailed assessment will now include: “if a costs management order has been made, a breakdown of the costs claimed for each phase of the proceedings” (The new Model Precedent Q can be found on this link showing the format of the breakdown.) The fact the requirement to serve the breakdown only arises when a costs management order has been made is, perhaps, odd. I wonder if the rule committee overlooked PD 44 para.3.4: “On an assessment of the costs of a party, the court … may have regard to any other budget previously filed by that party, or by any other party in the same proceedings. Such other budgets may be taken into account when assessing the reasonableness and proportionality of any costs claimed.” Given the accuracy of budgets is meant to be considered by phase, there equally seems to be a need for a breakdown whenever a budget has been served, regardless of whether a costs management order has been...

Read More

Oooo la la!

By on Sep 14, 2015 | 5 comments

Readers are probably aware of the male solicitor who, in response to an invitation to connect via LinkedIn to a female barrister, commented on the “stunning picture” on her profile. In turn she publically named and shamed him for his “unacceptable and misogynistic behaviour”. Her LinkedIn profile has since been updated to include the following: “I am on linked-in for business purposes not to be approached about my physical appearance. The eroticisation of women’s physical appearance is a way of exercising power over women. It silences women’s professional attributes as their physical appearance becomes the subject.” The press have been having much fun with the story, not least when it was reported she herself had allegedly previously posted comments on social media describing photographs of men and women as being “sexy”, “stunning”, “Hot stuff!” and “oooo lalala!”. Now, readers of this blog are old enough to make up their own minds as to the appropriateness of his original comments, her response, or whether there is any justification in the implication of hypocrisy on her part, without me needing to add my two cents worth. Nevertheless, there are a couple of general points that arise. There is no requirement to add a photograph to a LinkedIn profile. If a conscious decision is made to add a photograph, it cannot come as a complete shock if this prompts comment at some stage. (I once met a female costs lawyer at an Association of Costs Lawyers Annual Conference who commented I was much better looking in my online photograph than in real life.) It can’t really come as a shock to discover that some people are looking at the profiles that appear on LinkedIn with more interest in the pictures that in the professional qualifications. When clicking on a LinkedIn profile, the right of the page displays the profiles of “People Also Viewed”. If you are viewing the profile of a young female with accompanying attractive photograph, the other suggested profiles almost invariably suggest other profiles featuring photographs of other attractive young women. Coincidence or LinkedIn’s algorithms recognising people’s searching habits? The other aspect of this story that interested me was how the initial incident ever arose. The press have referred to...

Read More

Proportionality and additional liabilities

By on Sep 4, 2015 | 5 comments

An interesting aside from Senior Costs Judge Master Gordon-Saker in BP v Cardiff & Vale University Local Health Board [2015] EWHC B13 when considering a case with a pre-1st April 2013 CFA where the new proportionality test applied to work done after 1st April 2013: “On behalf of the Defendant Mr Kiernan told me that it would not be fair to include any additional liabilities when considering the proportionality of the costs allowed for work done after 1st April 2013. He relied only on the figure of £138,202.97. As the point was not argued, I reach no conclusion as to whether when considering under the new rule the proportionality of costs incurred after 1st April 2013 additional liabilities should be taken into account.” This suggests the point is open for argument. The rules certainly do not appear to expressly address this point. CPR 48.1(1) states: “The provisions of CPR Parts 43 to 48 relating to funding arrangements, and the attendant provisions of the Costs Practice Direction, will apply in relation to a pre-commencement funding arrangement as they were in force immediately before 1 April 2013, with such modifications (if any) as may be made by a practice direction on or after that date.” The old Costs Practice Direction at 11.5 read: “In deciding whether the costs claimed are reasonable and (on a standard basis assessment) proportionate, the court will consider the amount of any additional liability separately from the base costs.” If this survives, so far as pre-1st April 2013 CFA’s are concerned, it would seem to suggest under the new proportionality rule additional liabilities should not be taken into account. Master Gordon-Saker’s comments perhaps imply the matter is not quite so straightforward. Or, perhaps, he takes the judicial line that there is nothing to be gained from expressing any opinion where it is not entirely...

Read More

Costs management

By on Sep 3, 2015 | 2 comments

From the Association of Costs Lawyers’ Judicial Round Table on costs management earlier this year: Neil Rose: Has the SCCO seen any cases come through yet? SCJ Gordon-Saker: Not one, as far as I am aware…we are still in the dark as to what will happen. Neil Rose: Any ideas? SCJ Gordon-Saker: I anticipate lots of...

Read More