Legal Cost Specialists

Splitting bills of costs to deal with proportionality

By on Aug 8, 2013 | 6 comments

I’ve just received a bill of costs that states:

“This Bill has been drawn in multiple parts so as to differentiate between the work done pre and post 1st April 2013 on the basis that the former Lownds proportionality test applies to the pre 1st April 2013 work”.

Half correct. It also applies to the post-1st April 2013 work in this case because proceedings were issued pre-1st April 2013. I knew this would cause problems.

I won’t name and shame.


  1. stay silent as it benefits you – dont look at gift horse in the mouth


    8th August 2013

  2. tut tut, why dont they read the rules??

    and why invite the court to find a bill disproportionate by makiing such an obvious admission that it is!!


    8th August 2013

  3. Can you at least confirm whether or not it was a costs lawyer?

    Truly Elephant Costs Professional

    8th August 2013

  4. Truly Elephant Costs Professional, in the context of this post that is a legitimate question but, unfortunately I don’t know the answer. However, the costs firm responsible for the same does include Costs Lawyers amongst the directors.

    No further comments on that issue please. Readers can draw their own conclusions.

    Simon Gibbs

    8th August 2013

  5. I actually had to refer to your post on this topic as guidance on splitting bills to reflect the pre and post April proportionality tests.

    Costs Monkeywrench

    8th August 2013

  6. Is there anything other than common sense that requires the bill to be split pre and post 1 April? I could not see anything in the PD.

    Have any Defendant posters thought of any other method of ensuring costs are proportionate to the amount in issue other than suggesting costs judge knocks a bit more off after having assessed the bill?

    I know previous blog entries have highlighted the problem of how a Costs Judge deals with proportionality on a provisional assessment without having tallied up what the reductions to the bill come to but has anyone had any thoughts on a solution?

    My thoughts so far are limited to either requesting an oral hearing if there is major proportionality issue under the new test or inviting the costs judge to do the maths or suggest limited to a maximum of £xxx(excluding addtional liabilities and VAT) – all of which seems a bit messy.


    8th August 2013

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