Legal Cost Specialists

Costs budgeting, detailed assessment and proportionality

I’ve uploaded an article on the conflict between the phase-by-phase/item-by-item approach of costs budgeting/detailed assessment and the new proportionality test to the Costs Law Articles Archive, first published in the Solicitors Journal.

4 thoughts on “Costs budgeting, detailed assessment and proportionality”

  1. Charles Wheatcroft

    The issue to which I have yet to find workable solution is how to split a detailed assessment into phases but also reflect the statute bills.

    Logic would suggest splitting it by statute bill then providing a summary of the phases for each part of the bill then adding all of these up at the back of the bill but this is tricky and makes for a cumbersome bill.

    I agree with the budgeting process but it is the cap on each phase which will always cause problems. Much better to agree the totality of the budget based on assumptions then allow the parties to incur costs as they see fit as long as they stay within the budget total. Or, augment the indemnity principle by applying a cap on recoverable costs based on the sum of the rendered bills rather than individual caps on each bill.

    J-codes could be the answer (although not necessarily to my issue above) but the type of system required is inaccessible to pretty much every firm that doesn’t already have it and insisting upon such a system is unreasonable – I would liken it to insisting upon ownership of a plane in order to visit long-haul destinations.

    Dear Lord, how did we end up here?

  2. I hate to flog a dead horse but the answer is fixed costs and creative/robust case management by District Judges in lower value claims.

  3. I agree, if fixed costs are sensible. Funny story, I had my car insurance quote through and it had gone up. I rang them and explained that I was expecting it go down following LASPO in view of insurer promises. The lovely Scottish lady laughed and said she had expected her salary to go up too. It didn’t.

    The whole thing is a tissue of lies being directed by the greedy few who want to buy another car for their collection. That the press have not made more of the governments blatant….ah never mind. Wrong forum.

  4. Interesting dilemma Simon one which we Australia are having to come to terms with but without the difficulties of cost budgeting. Ours is in the increasing number of practitioner/client cost assessments where work can be deemed reasonable but the costs of same disproportionate.

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