Legal Cost Specialists

Extension of time for service of Points of Dispute

Interesting issue raised by specialist costs counsel Paul Hughes: Can parties agree to extend time for service of Points of Dispute? The answer may not be as obvious as you would first think.

14 thoughts on “Extension of time for service of Points of Dispute”

  1. Terrific – the crazies are going to read this and not grant extensions. What is our profession coming to. A CJ at the SCCO recently told me that the CJs are getting overloaded with extn of time applns and PD8.3 arguments.

  2. I think there is something more specific but there is always the fall back of

    Time limits may be varied by parties

    2.11 Unless these Rules or a practice direction provide otherwise or the court orders otherwise, the time specified by a rule or by the court for a person to do any act may be varied by the written agreement of the parties.

    (Rules 3.8 (sanctions have effect unless defaulting party obtains relief), 28.4 (variation of case management timetable – fast track) and 29.5 (variation of case management timetable – multi-track), provide for time limits that cannot be varied by agreement between the parties)

  3. This is why I always advise clients to not give an extension but to not request a default costs certificate before x date.

    The rule lacks any sort of real impact now anyway given provisional assessment.

    Furthermore, ‘may not’ can easily be read as giving the court a discretion to hear the PP on detailed assessment. A discretion that all but the most rigid of judges will use.

  4. sorry, deepest respect to Paul, but this is taking things far too far.

    the whole intention of the CPR (remember good old CPR 1??) is for parties to resolve matters and keep them out of the Courts, hence clearly the provision to allow time extensions to be agreed between the parties.I look forward to watching a Judge throw the book and a wasted costs Order at any fool who says they “cant” agree as time extention

  5. It is amusing that the needle is now being put on Defendants.

    Whilst I would not have minded granted an extension before it seems only fair in light of the very strict approach the court is taking to claimant’s re relief from sanctions and compliance with the rules.

    All the fuss CREATED by tight fisted paying parties is beginning to come back and bite them on their behinds!!!

  6. I don’t think the word “may” makes any difference. Just as the use of it on its own grants a right (see para 19 of Kilby v Gawith), so “may not” must mean that right is refused. As for the 2.11 point, that is explained in the blog – it cannot apply, as it is subject to CPR 3.8.

    I’m not advocating any approach to the Rules, I’m just interpreting them and thought it was an interesting point nobody had raised. That’s how the law changes – don’t shoot me!

  7. But be sure to allow plenty of time when sending in the post, in the event the Receiving Party does not accept service by fax or email.

  8. I heard that a certain Scouse Costs Company seems to have decided that they can insert POD’s due 22 days from date of service on the N252 = 17/9/13 & then apply for DCC 21 days from date of service i.e. on the 16/9/13.

  9. @ x

    Good, let them get a DCC then set it aside as service wasn’t due until the day specified on the N252 , and ask for indemnity costs because the costs company are stupid in their conduct

    Care to name and shame please?

  10. @ x

    It could quite possibly be a mistake (although twice in this instance). Mistakes do happen although not often on somethng so simple.

  11. Just had some idiot Defendant refuse a time extension on their Part 20 Claim bill in an RTA, misquoting badly but their source plainly being this blog & Pauls article.

    This despite telling them their bill was appallingly wrong (Defendants and counterclaims – proves the adage that Defendants ‘draftsmen’ in the main haven’t a clue how to DRAW a bill) and they hadn’t served all the correct documents.

    PoDs served consequent objecting to the whole bill and service, in 4 easy lines, plus 2 lines regarding the unreasonable refusal to extend time to discuss the defects fully, seeking dismissal of the bill plus our costs wasted.

    Thanks guys

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