Legal Cost Specialists

New proportionality test – Further transitional amendments

By on Feb 19, 2013 | 5 comments

I knew it was a mistake to start commenting on the new CPR rules at this stage.

Following my post on the ambiguity as to which claims would be subject to the new proportionality test it now appears that a new statutory instrument will be published in March to introduce a new transitional provision within rule 44.3 to deal with this:

“to the effect that costs incurred in respect of work done before 1 April 2013 will not be disallowed if they would have been allowed under the rules in force immediately before that date”.

What makes this truly shocking is that the letter confirming these changes from Lord Justice Stephen Richards, who chairs the rule committee, records the fact that the committee was aware of this problem and agreed to make this change at the meeting on 8 February 2013 which approved the rules that were then released on 12/13th February. However, when releasing the SI there was no mention that they had already decided to change this in at least one crucial aspect.

How are practitioners meant to prepare for the changes and train staff when, ludicrously late in the day as the rules have been published, we can’t even trust the accuracy of what has been released?

Good luck to legal publishers working to a March publication date.

Omnishambles.

    5 Comments

  1. Good point Simon – it makes it all fun!!!

    Makes you wonder what they’re going to do to the Practice Directions.

    Don’t forget of course that there are still rumours that there’s going to be a second tranche of rules and pds to be published – who knows when! Presumably they are going to deal with the much publicised Fixed Costs on the Fast Track, amongst other things.

    Dominic Swallow

    19th February 2013

  2. Does the proposed amendment overwrite the previous wording regarding ‘commencement’being the trigger date for application of proportionality or does it just cater for claims where proceedings are not commenced before 1st April 2013, but substantial work has been undertaken?

    Robert Pettitt

    19th February 2013

  3. Maybe this is the best April fools joke ever played and it will be revealed on the 1st April 2013.

    MOJ press release: Only kidding! April fool. Back to work.

    Anon

    19th February 2013

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