Legal Cost Specialists

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White Paper’s Costs Litigation Conference 2020

By on Jul 14, 2020 | 0 comments

White Paper’s always excellent annual costs conference did not proceed as normal this year for obvious reasons. However, the full conference with the full array of speakers proceeded as a pre-recorded webinar event. This is still available to view online here (until 29 July 2020) for a very modest £204 plus...

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Costs & Fees Encyclopaedia 2020-21

By on Apr 22, 2020 | 0 comments

The 2020-21 edition of the Costs & Fees Encyclopaedia has now been published.  This edition includes changes to costs and fees in the last 24 months including: Court of Protection, Civil Proceedings and Magistrates’ Courts Fees (Amendment) Order 2018 Immigration and Nationality (Fees) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 Legal Officers (Annual Fees) Order 2018 Ecclesiastical Judges, Legal Officers and Others (Fees) Order 2018 Immigration and Nationality (Fees) (Amendment) (EU Exit) (No. 2) Regulations 2018 Criminal Legal Aid (Remuneration) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2018 Public Record Office (Fees) Regulations 2018 Public Guardian (Fees, etc) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 It can be purchased direct from the publishers for...

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Remote working from home

By on Apr 2, 2020 | 0 comments

With much of the legal profession now in lockdown, attention has naturally started to focus on the use of telephone/video conferencing facilities to undertake court hearings, mediations, meetings, etc. Gordon Exall’s Civil Litigation Brief blog has been providing a large number of useful links providing various guidance on how to make use of this technology.  The natural danger with this is to believe this is largely a matter of acquiring the necessary technical know-how of Skype, Zoom, etc and understanding the appropriate etiquette (eg giving consideration to what will be seen in the background of your video call).  However, I have one word of warning: Scraps. For those of us already used to working from home, there is one thing that can be guaranteed to happen during a crucial telephone hearing, video conference with client, etc.  The guaranteed event is that the dog that has been happily snoozing at your feet for the past hour will suddenly hear the postman 200 yards down the road and start hysterically barking as though his life depended on it. Equally, you can also guarantee that the doorbell will go at a crucial moment.  Even if the dog is not already awake and barking, it will be now.  At normal times, and disregarding barking dogs, you might simply ignore the doorbell and continue.  These are not normal times.  If there is no one else in the house to answer the door at that moment, ignoring the doorbell is not an option.  It may be a courier delivery of papers with urgent instructions.  If you miss it, there is no way of knowing if, when or how you will be able to rearrange delivery.  Or, it may be an emergency gin delivery.  Either way, you will have to break-off to answer it. Four-legged friends are not the only peril.  Two-legged ones pose just as much of a danger.  You can explain to little Tarquin until you are blue in the face that “Daddy has a very important telephone hearing to deal with an application for relief from sanctions in the Chancery Division and must not be disturbed for the next two hours”.  But the moment Tarquin gets two crayons stuck up his nose, all...

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Coping with coronavirus

By on Mar 27, 2020 | 2 comments

Ancient Chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times” With much of the economy in total shutdown, coronavirus has had very limited disruption on my typical working day.  When we first set up 14 years ago, it was based on remote working for all fee earners and still is.  Other than the fact I will not be attending any in-person hearings for the foreseeable future, my day-to-day work continues virtually uninterrupted. I have therefore had to spend recent days worrying about first-world, middle-class, pandemic problems: Being informed by our cleaning lady, who has a compromised immune system, that she is now selfishly self-isolating at home and we will have to do our own dusting for the next few weeks. Noooooooooo! Discovering that streaming services are considering stopping all HD streaming and limiting to SD quality as the coronavirus crisis puts unprecedented load on interweb. Noooooooooo! Worrying as to whether the manufacturers of Fever Tree premium tonic water are key workers and, if not, how long existing UK supplies are going to last. Noooooooooo! Being told by Ocado that you are now limited to two boxes of quails eggs in any one order. Noooooooooo! I don’t have enough time left over to worry about getting...

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Senior Courts Costs Office Guide 2018

By on Nov 22, 2018 | 0 comments

The SCCO has published the updated Senior Courts Costs Office Guide 2018.  This is the first update since 2013. It provides a helpful summary of a number of procedural points.  It also provides a useful list of the current Regional Costs...

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Additional work and proportionality

By on Jul 20, 2018 | 0 comments

The Senior Costs Judge Master Gordon-Saker prefaced his recent decision on proportionality, in Various Claimants (In Wave 1 of the Mirror Newspapers Hacking Litigation) v MGN Ltd [2018] EWHC B13 (Costs), with the warning: “this judgment should not be taken as any attempt at providing guidance. I say that because I know that anything said about proportionality, at whatever judicial level, is subjected to anxious scrutiny. First this is not a judgment of the Court of Appeal. Secondly the circumstances which give rise to this judgment are very unusual.” That said, the decision does highlight one aspect of the proportionality test that merits consideration. Of the various factors the Court must take into account when considering proportionality is: “any additional work generated by the conduct of the paying party” The Master summarised his conclusions as follows: “62. Contrary to the Claimants’ submission, it seems to me that the conduct relied on must be conduct in the litigation rather than the conduct which gave rise to the cause of action. The conduct which caused the wrong will be compensated in damages or other relief. In my view the purpose of r.44.3(5)(d) is to enable the court to take into account that the costs may have been increased because work which would not ordinarily have been required has been required by the way in which the opponent has fought the claim. 63. It also seems to me that the conduct relied on does not need to be misconduct. Had that been intended misconduct could easily have been substituted in the rule for conduct. 64. In the event in my judgment there was no additional work caused by the conduct of the Defendant. That the Defendant chose to deny liability until 6 months before trial did not cause additional work. It caused the claim and the work involved in the claim. If a failure to concede by the party who eventually loses is considered of itself to cause additional work, this factor would apply in every case which did not settle within the relevant pre-action protocol period. 65. The Defendant fought these claims vigorously and did not concede liability at the earliest opportunity. As a consequence it will have to pay a greater...

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