Legal Cost Specialists

Costs budgets and experts’ trial fees

By on Nov 13, 2019 | 2 comments

The new Guidance Notes on Precedent H, following the update to PD3E para.7.4 (which came into force on 1 October 2019), moves trial brief fees from the Trial phase to the Trial Preparation phase.  This is presumably on the basis that the brief will be delivered before the trial commences and liability for the brief fee will often be treated (at least as between the solicitor and counsel) as being payable upon delivery.

Strangely, the Guidance Notes give no indication as to what phase any experts’ fees for attending trial should be placed into.  Traditionally, these fees have been placed in the Trial phase.  However, the majority of experts will usually expect payment of their fee, or at least a discounted payment, where they have been booked for the trial even if the matter settles early.  Should experts’ fees for attendance at trial therefore not also be placed in the Trial Preparation phase?

    2 Comments

  1. Hi Simon,

    In the ‘Does not include’ column of the expert phase it says, ‘Arranging for experts to attend trial (include in trial preparation)

    Richie

    13th November 2019

  2. Richie, I am not sure that this refers to anything more than (for example) writing to experts informing them of trial date, etc. In the same way, the Trial Preparation phase also includes: “Witness summonses, and arranging for witnesses to attend trial”.

    Before the latest amendments, the Trial Preparation phase included: “agreeing brief fee” but placed the actual brief fee under the Trial phase.

    Arranging for experts to attend trial and the actual cost of attendance are two different things. It is odd that the Guidance Notes do not make the position clear as to which phase to place the fees in.

    Simon Gibbs

    13th November 2019

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