Costs budgets and experts’ trial fees
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?