I am still recovering from a run of detailed assessment hearings in the Senior Courts Costs Office.
(Yes, I do sometimes do some real work.)
A number of these cases have gone part heard but these were the outcomes in the other claims:
1. Bill of costs in first case reduced from £87,279 to £47,461.
2. Bill of costs in second case reduced from £76,685 to £37,954.
3. Bill of costs in third case reduced from £77,578 to £31,850.
4. Bill of costs in fourth case reduced from £96,422 to £32,969.
(Yes, I really am that good.)
Unfortunately, despite the impressive size of the reductions achieved, the claimants in each case still managed to beat the defendants’ Part 47.19 offers. The claimants’ did not succeed on their own offers and so Part 47.19 did not come into play.
One then turns to the factors listed in Part 47.18 when determining which party should pay the costs of assessment. The starting point is that the receiving party is entitled to the costs but the court must have regard to all the circumstances. The key factor in each of these cases was obviously, and as recognised by the court, “the amount … by which the bill of costs has been reduced”.
So what orders did the court make?
In the first three cases the claimant receiving party was still awarded 50% of their costs. In the fourth case the court made no order as to costs.
I’ve mentioned before the reluctance of the courts to fully utilise their powers under Part 47.18.
How big a reduction is needed to a bill before the receiving party has to pay for the privilege of submitting an inflated bill?