Legal Cost Specialists

Inaccurate costs estimate

Costs Practice Direction 6.5A states:

“(1) If there is a difference of 20% or more between the base costs claimed by a receiving party on detailed assessment and the costs shown in an estimate of costs filed by that party, the receiving party must provide a statement of the reasons for the difference with his bill of costs.”

Has there ever been a more widely ignored Practice Direction?

7 thoughts on “Inaccurate costs estimate”

  1. yes

    “An offer made by the paying party should usually be made within 14 days after service of the notice of commencement on that party”

  2. Both are about equal in my experience.

    Who drafting a Bill of Costs is going to wantto draw the attention of the paying party to the fact that the costs estimate was exceeded by more than 20%, when the paying party, or his legal representatives, may not be aware of the significance?

    There are many “costs draftsmen” who do not even know, let alone solicitors. You can put the omission right in Replies to Points of Dispute if the point is raised, or indeed amend the Bill of Costs.

  3. that of course pre-supposes that the “difference” actually exists

    I am tired of the misleading objections trying to manipulate figures, including referring to the estimated costs to trial in an AQ – its not approved costs budgeting, so dont pretend it is please!

    and lets not forget, the PP must demonstrate and state, that they relied on any such estimate for the conduct of the case. Defendants never make this statement. They cant, because that would call into question why, when they knew how much it would cost, they still argue and fight tooth and nail!

    sort of demonstrates and kills the proportionality argument…………

  4. CPD 5.9

    “All bills of costs, fees and disbursements on which VAT is included must be divided into separate parts so as to show work done before, on and after the date or dates from which any change in the rate of VAT takes effect.”

  5. Anon - Costs Lawyer

    I do tend to raise this with the opponent. I’m glad when they don’t provide the statement with the bill. It brings into play CPD 6.6.

    If you read closey 6.6 says that the Court can use the estimate when assessing items in the bill if a statement had not been provided ‘or’ (key word) the Defendant demonstrates a reliance on the estimate.

    If the receiving party doesn’t provide the statement then the paying party does not have to go to the pain (and it is a pain)of demonstrating reliance.

    Most ignored rule, what about ‘If Points of Reply are to be prepared they must be served within 21 days from the receipt of the Points of Dispute.’ I’ve had replies served two days before a hearing. There appears to be no meaningful sanction for late service of the Points in Reply… but serve the Points of Dispute a day late…. good lord. I would add that not all opponents are so crass, just the usual suspects.

  6. we are of course remembering that the CPD is not legislative, and therefore has no force, per KU-v-LCC?

    and when they rid the CPR of the CPD entirely next April, what then?

  7. Of course lets remind ourselves that the difference applies to base costs only and not to include additional liabilities as some defendants have tried to argue in the past. This is why costs budgeting is such a good idea

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