Legal Cost Specialists

Proportionality v Costs Budgeting

Costs budgeting is the new hot topic in costs law (although possibly gone rather off the boil with news that a growing number of claims will be exempt from automatic costs management) and so I share on the Costs Law Articles Archive section of Legal Costs Central my article discussing the logic of both proportionality and costs budgeting/detailed assessment, previously published in Solicitors Journal.

3 thoughts on “Proportionality v Costs Budgeting”

  1. There seems to be a bit of confusion about the recent announcement on CMOs (not surprisingly – what a shambles).

    In particular, some people seem to be reading it to suggest that Chancery, TCC and Mercantile cases will be prima facie exempt from the CMO regime in the same way that Admiralty and Commercial cases are. That is not what the new amendments appear to say.

    All Admiralty and Commercial court cases are exempt from the rules (unless the court orders otherwise). Chancery, TCC and Mercantile case are only exempt where the heads of division so direct – and for now, the direction will be in PD3E and only excludes cases worth over £2million.

    All other Chancery, Mercantile and TCC cases (ie less than £2m) and all other multi track cases (clin neg, prof neg etc of whatever value) are subject to the full CMO regime.

    That is, of course, subject to those in charge changing their mind again between now and 1st April.

  2. Proportionality has always been a toothless lion anyway. Lets face it, it was the biggest tool implemented by Woolf to curb excessive costs and it has categorically failed, Claimants and more sympathetic Courts just sidestep the issue on assessment, even when they say they are applying proportionality Judges seem reluctant to actually place any sanctions upon persistent offenders and the assessed costs are still often too high.

    Lets hope someone can come up with a rule(s) and guidelines that work in practice not an imaginary test that Judges themselves dont seem to really understand and/or apply correctly. The principle behind ovveridding objective was absolutely correct but the practice and behaivours that followed the woolf reforms simply exploited loopholes and pushed us closer towards a fixed regime evidently before the profession is ready for such change.

    Result in 2013/14 = less jobs, less training contracts for people who now will have wasted 5 years of their life studying towards a law degree and the more or less the same top 10 injury firms in the UK still dominate the market and therefore can dictate conditions to an extent. Long gone will be the honest high street local practioner who earns honest pay for an honest job. The only loser is the OAP who trips over a defect on the floor and now has to pay for a riskless case out of her/his own damages, you say general damages to be increased by 10% to soften the blow? My question is 10% of what?………

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