Legal Cost Specialists

Posts made in October, 2013

Papers in support of provisional assessment

By on Oct 30, 2013 | 5 comments

The Senior Courts Costs Office Guide 2013, in relation to provisional assessment, states: “In the SCCO the Costs Judge or costs officer will have regard to the papers in support of the bill (that is, the papers listed in paragraph 13.12 of Practice Direction 47) when conducting the provisional assessment. If the receiving party has not lodged the supporting papers with the request for detailed assessment, that party should do so when requested by the court.” Paragraph 13.12 of Practice Direction 47 reads: “The papers to be filed in support of the bill and the order in which they are to be arranged are as follows— (i) instructions and briefs to counsel arranged in chronological order together with all advices, opinions and drafts received and response to such instructions; (ii) reports and opinions of medical and other experts; (iii) any other relevant papers; (iv) a full set of any relevant statements of case (v) correspondence, file notes and attendance notes;” In other words, the full file. This confirms that the SCCO is going to undertake provisional assessment based on the full file, contrary to what is envisaged by the rules where the provisional assessment will be based on limited documents being before the...

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Interim costs certificates

By on Oct 28, 2013 | 2 comments

An interesting approach from the Senior Courts Costs Office Guide 2013 in relation to applications for interim costs certificates in provisional assessment cases: “An application for an interim costs certificate which is made in a case proceeding to a provisional assessment will not be listed for hearing on a date before the provisional assessment takes place unless some good reason for such an early listing is...

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What crisis?

By on Oct 25, 2013 | 0 comments

My favourite legal quote of the year, by Jeff Zindani in the recently published Surviving Jackson: “Lawyers don’t like to be told there is urgency or a crisis unless it involves a paying client.”  

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Signature to bill of costs

By on Oct 23, 2013 | 10 comments

Quick reminder from the Senior Courts Costs Office Guide 2013 as to the status of a signature to a bill of costs, which is still much misunderstood by many law costs draftsmen and costs lawyers: “The signature of a statement of costs or a bill for detailed assessment by a solicitor is in normal circumstances sufficient to enable the court to be satisfied that the indemnity principle has not been breached in respect of costs payable under a conventional bill: Bailey v IBC Vehicles Ltd [1998] 3 All ER 570 CA. However, the same may not be true in respect of costs payable under a conditional fee agreement: Hollins v Russell [2003] 1 WLR 2487.” Note the comments concerning the signature not necessarily being sufficient where there is a CFA.  No mention of this being limited to pre-November 2005...

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Retrospective costs budgeting

By on Oct 22, 2013 | 2 comments

Costs Judge Master O’Hare, writing in New Law Journal (adapted from O’Hare and Browne: Civil Litigation, 16th Ed), on costs budgeting: “One problem here is whether a party can obtain an approval retrospectively. In our opinion, the court can approve any costs incurred after the date of a party’s first budget, even if they were incurred before the approval was sought.” This flies in the face of Regional Costs Judge Chris Lethem’s views on the subject which are: “There is no retrospection in costs budgeting. Note the wording of CPR 3.15(1): ‘In addition to exercising its other powers, the court may manage the costs to be incurred by any party in any proceedings.’” This is a disagreement not over how the court should exercise its discretion but what the rules allow. For what it’s worth, I’m with Chris Lethem on this...

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