Legal Cost Specialists

Defective costs drafting software?

By on Jul 15, 2010 | 3 comments

Costs Practice Direction 4.9 states: "Each item claimed in the bill of costs must be consecutively numbered".  It has contained this provision since the CPR was introduced.

So why does one major costs drafting software programme not automatically do this but instead just numbers disbursements?

The reason this is a particular bugbear of mine is that it makes it much easier to draft points of dispute if you can simply refer to an item number rather than need to use a description, especially if you are raising the same dispute in relation to items spread across the bill of costs.


  1. Does my head in as well, it’s not exactly difficult

    At the very least it justifies you spending more time on the disputes though, and an argument for reducing the bill fee…


    15th July 2010

  2. As you quite rightly say “Each item claimed in the bill of costs must be consecutively numbered” . The PD does not require that each and every item of work done should be numbered, but that claimed items should be numbered. The software in question does number each monetary claim made in the claimed columns (not just disbursements). You might not like it but at the very least it is an matter of the interpretation of the words “each item claimed”.


    20th July 2010

  3. i assume the bill program referred to is the one which keeps all profit costs in the left column until the totals?

    what is gained by not numbering items in a bill? do people think they will avoid arguments as to costs claimed because of their ‘clever’ interpretation of the PD? do people think this leads to better recovery?

    all this interpretation does is increase the amount of work that is required to get to the bottom of things, and anyone who seriously believes that this practice leads to better recovery / less arguments is very much mistaken.

    i suppose the benefit would be that it would in turn take longer to prepare the Replies to the inevitably longer Disputes and as such squeeze their clients for more money
    – yes i’m sure that was the intention of the rule makers when the PD was drawn, make things harder to deal with…!


    21st July 2010

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