A new pilot scheme starts on 1 April 2019 for a new Statement of Costs for Summary Assessment.
- Will run from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2021.
- Applies to all claims, regardless of when “commenced” (presumably meaning when issued), that are subject to summary assessment.
- The two new forms that have been designed “may” be used during the pilot. It is therefore clear that use of the new forms is voluntary (although there does not appear to be anything to prevent a judge from making a case management decision requiring the use of the new forms).
Form N260A is designed for interim applications. Form N260B is designed for matters that have proceeded to trial.
Both forms require detailed document schedules. These “may” be created from electronic time records.
Both forms are available in paper/pdf form and in electronic spreadsheet form. Parties are free to use the paper/pdf version only.
Where the claim is subject to a costs management order, any party filing the N260B in advance of the trial must also file a Precedent Q (which shows a summary of the costs claimed compared to the last approved/agreed budget). Given summary assessment at trial is normally reserved for fast track matters, where there is no costs budgeting, it is not immediately obvious to me when this would occur. (The separate Capped Costs List pilot scheme provides for summary assessment at the end of trials limited to two days but expressly states costs management does not apply.)
For firms that are 100% confident that their fee earners are properly time recording by phase, activity, etc, there might be some time saving in preparing statements of costs using the new forms and inputting the data directly from case management software, but I suspect the overall take up will be extremely low during the pilot.