Legal Cost Specialists

Liability for provisional assessment costs

District Judge Stephen Gold has been running an excellent series of articles in the New Law Journal explaining how the Jackson reforms will work.

On the subject of provisional assessment he wrote:

“Once it has been carried out, the court will send out precedent G with its decisions indorsed and its decision on the costs of the assessment”

That is clearly his reading of the rules. But, as I have written before, unless the judge has done the calculations (in which case why the provision requiring the parties to agree the total sum due based on the court’s decisions) how does he know whether a party has won on a Part 36 (or other admissable) offer and what decision on the costs of the assessment is therefore appropriate?

We will see some interesting decisions from the courts in the coming months.

7 thoughts on “Liability for provisional assessment costs”

  1. Simon, are you pinning all your business model forcast on getting Defendant costs of provisional DA, as you seem to be devoting a lot of time to the subject?

  2. Kevin, that is an excellent point.

    Applying the new test, would the total have to be claculated by the parties and then sent back with submissions on whether or not the costs are proportionate and what the reduction should be applied if the costs aren’t proportionate?

  3. the new proportionality test does not apply to pre-01.04.13 work, so why is this even being discussed?

    Also, the rules provide for any case which the court does not deem suitable to remain in the Provisional Assessment scheme, to be reverted to the normal 47.14 provisions – i know of cases where Defendants have raised their “usual” standard arguments that everything is disproportinate on the Pilot scheme, and that was sufficient to have the DJ kick it out of the Pilot – if, as anticipated, Defendants continue with their usual antics, the same will happen

  4. At a recent talk with a RCJ in the north east, he confirmed that he will not be recalculating the bill but returning it for the parties to agree a figure!

  5. Truly Eminent Costs Professional

    @ Kevin Hassey: Indeed. However, let us consider that those who have masterminded these reforms have also seen fit for judges to make these (potential) swingeing proportionality reductions without sight of the file of papers!

  6. As I understand it provisional assessment involves RP’s costs and costs of assessment getting assessed. Does not look at the offers at this stage.

    Costs Judge sends papers out to parties. They work out the figures. If PP thinks he has won he calls RP and says – I have won please ignore the assessment of your costs of Provisional Assessment and pay my costs. 9 out of 10 times RO agrees to this If RP does not agree to pay the costs PP writes to court for paper assessment thingy dealing with costs of costs only. At that point the Costs Judge looks at the Part 36 / Calderbank offers. Not sure why the offers don’t just get sent to court at the argue about costs of costs stage but hardly the biggest gripe with drafting of the new rules.

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