Dividing Bills of Costs where multiple defendants
I have a case where a claim was brought against two Defendants. The claim succeeded against both Defendants.
The matter was subject to a Costs Management Order with the Claimant having a single approved costs budget in respect of costs concerning both Defendants (with no apportionment between work concerning one Defendant or the other).
The final costs order was simply that: “The Defendants shall pay the Claimant’s costs of the action” (ie the Defendants are jointly and severally liable for the Claimant’s costs, with no apportionment between work concerning one Defendant or the other).
What therefore possessed the Claimant’s costs draftsman to prepare the Bill of Costs such that for each relevant phase the Bill is split into three separate parts: one for “generic costs” that related to the work concerning both Defendants and two further parts that include the work specific to each Defendant?
The Bill therefore consists of 41 different parts when it only required 15. The task of comparing the costs claimed to the approved budget has been made more time consuming than necessary, as has preparation of the Points of Dispute and any subsequent detailed assessment hearing.
True it is that PD 47 para.5.8(5) requires:
“Where the bill covers costs payable under an order or orders under which there are different paying parties the bill must be divided into parts so as to deal separately with the costs payable by each paying party.”
However, that is clearly not applicable where, as here, the costs that each of the Defendants are required to pay are identical.