The defendant costs specialists

Summary assessment

New Statement of Costs for Summary Assessment pilot

By on Mar 25, 2019 | 0 comments

A new pilot scheme starts on 1 April 2019 for a new Statement of Costs for Summary Assessment. The pilot: Will run from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2021. Applies to all claims, regardless of when “commenced” (presumably meaning when issued), that are subject to summary assessment. The two new forms that have been designed “may” be used during the pilot. It is therefore clear that use of the new forms is voluntary (although there does not appear to be anything to prevent a judge from making a case management decision requiring the use of the new forms). Form N260A is designed for interim applications.  Form N260B is designed for matters that have proceeded to trial. Both forms require detailed document schedules.  These “may” be created from electronic time records. Both forms are available in paper/pdf form and in electronic spreadsheet form.  Parties are free to use the paper/pdf version only. Where the claim is subject to a costs management order, any party filing the N260B in advance of the trial must also file a Precedent Q (which shows a summary of the costs claimed compared to the last approved/agreed budget).  Given summary assessment at trial is normally reserved for fast track matters, where there is no costs budgeting, it is not immediately obvious to me when this would occur.  (The separate Capped Costs List pilot scheme provides for summary assessment at the end of trials limited to two days but expressly states costs management does not apply.) For firms that are 100% confident that their fee earners are properly time recording by phase, activity, etc, there might be some time saving in preparing statements of costs using the new forms and inputting the data directly from case management software, but I suspect the overall take up will be extremely low during the...

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Failure to file a Statement of Costs in advance of hearing

By on Mar 12, 2018 | 3 comments

Gordon Exall’s excellent Civil Litigation Brief has a post reporting the decision in Cross v Black Bull (Doncaster) Limited (Sheffield County Court) concerning the appropriate consequences of a party not serving a statement of costs at least 24 hours before a hearing. His Honour Judge Robinson summarised the issue thus: “Miss Buck who did not appear before me in the appeal nor did she appear before the Deputy District Judge submits on instructions that because a costs statement had not been filed at the hearing before the Deputy District Judge in accordance with the CPR namely, without looking it up and from memory 24 hours before the hearing, then summary assessment could not have occurred and therefore the claimant should be deprived of all of his costs. Now, I asked Miss Buck if there was anything by way of authority or principal or direction or anything that might assist me in determining the appropriateness of that costs direction. Namely the costs should be denied a successful claimant and as very fairly said no. Therefore, I am asked to exercise my discretion.” Exercising his discretion from first principles, he declined to disallow the costs. It is unfortunate that neither Miss Buck nor the judge (nor, presumably, the advocate for the other side) appeared to be aware of the actual wording of PD 44: “9.5(4) The statement of costs must be filed at court and copies of it must be served on any party against whom an order for payment of those costs is intended to be sought as soon as possible and in any event – (a) for a fast track trial, not less than 2 days before the trial; and (b) for all other hearings, not less than 24 hours before the time fixed for the hearing.  9.6 The failure by a party, without reasonable excuse, to comply with paragraph 9.5 will be taken into account by the court in deciding what order to make about the costs of the claim, hearing or application, and about the costs of any further hearing or detailed assessment hearing that may be necessary as a result of that failure.” It is also unfortunate that the judge, who was clearly aware there was a provision within...

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