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Legal Costs Blog

Legal Costs Blog

Contracting out of fixed recoverable costs

Are parties free to contract out of Fixed Recoverable Costs (FRC) if a case would otherwise be subject to the regime? As currently drafted, it appears not. CPR 45.1(3) states: “Where— a claim is one to which Section IV, Section VI, Section VII or Section VIII of this Part applies; ...
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Defendants arguing fixed costs do not apply

There was a recent article in the online Costs Lawyer Journal concerning the new Fixed Recoverable Costs regime and how it applies to cases involving non-personal injury claims, specifically those that settle pre-issue but after 1 October 2023. The article records how some defendants are apparently arguing “that, absent an ...
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Fixed fee increase – Why settle now?

A previous post examined the increases to the Fixed Recoverable Costs (FRC) figures which will come into force from 6th April 2024. Although the relevant transitional provisions are clearly confusing, the intention appear to be: Where an order for costs is made before 6th April 2024, the FRC will be ...
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Transitional provisions for increases to Fixed Recoverable Costs

The Fixed Recoverable Costs (FRC) figures will be increased from 6th April 2024 to allow for inflation. The increases are based on the Services Producer Price Index for the period between January 2023 and October 2023. What transitional provisions govern this? Currently, CPR 45.1(8) provides: “A reference in any rule ...
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Incurred costs in costs budget

There are some odd comments in the judgment in Lifestyle Equities CV & Anor v Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club Limited & Ors [2023] EWHC 2923 (Ch) : “The Defendants … say the Claimants accepted the Defendants’ incurred costs were reasonable in the Precedent R. … The Claimants dispute ...
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Trial Advocacy Fee – Fixed Recoverable Costs

The idea of fixed trial costs for the advocate (usually counsel) was well established before the extension of the Fixed Recoverable Costs regime. In the fast track, there were fixed amounts for “an advocate for preparing for and appearing at the trial”. Actual “appearance” was therefore required. Nothing would be ...
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Updates to civil procedure rules

The latest amendments to the civil procedure rules have now been published: The Civil Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2024 The 163rd Practice Direction (PD) Update The majority of changes come into force on 6 April 2024. There is no amendment to cure the defective transitional provisions relating to Fixed Recoverable Costs ...
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Can defendants recover costs if a claim settles pre-issue?

Does the extension of Fixed Recoverable Costs enable defendants to recover their costs if a matter settles pre-issue? There are certainly a number of commentators who have suggested that this is indeed the case. If correct, this would mean that the mere act of sending a letter of claim might ...
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Fixed Costs for Stage 1 of the Intermediate Track

Part VII of CPR 45 is headed: “VII FIXED COSTS IN THE INTERMEDIATE TRACK” CPR 45.50(1): “For as long as the case is not allocated to the multi-track, the only costs allowed in any claim which would normally be or is allocated to the intermediate track are (a) the fixed costs in ...
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Fixed Recoverable Costs – CPR 45.13

CPR 45.13 allows the court to penalise a party who is found to have behaved unreasonably by reducing their costs by 50% if the unreasonable party is the receiving party or increasing the other party’s costs by 50% if the unreasonable party is the paying party. The rule does not, ...
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Fixed Recoverable Costs and Unreasonable Behaviour

Traditionally, a party in whose favour a costs order was made could seek those costs on the indemnity basis where the other party had behaved unreasonably during the litigation. In fixed costs matters, a party could seek to escape the fixed costs regime by showing there were “’exceptional circumstances”, which ...
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Defendant’s Fixed Costs where no amount specified in claim form

An earlier post looked at the Fixed Recoverable Costs for defendants being based on the “the amount specified in the claim form, without taking into account any deduction for contributory negligence, but excluding – (i) any amount not in dispute; (ii) interest; or (iii) costs” (CPR 45.6(2) and (3)). What ...
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Defendant’s Fixed Recoverable Costs

The extension of Fixed Recoverable Costs sets the level of recoverable costs for both claimants and defendants. Where the claimant wins, the claimant’s costs are set by reference to the damages as agreed/awarded (see CPR 45.45(1)(a)(iv) and CPR 45.50(2)(b)(iv)). It is the settlement value which is determinative. The position is ...
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Fixed Costs where settlement pre-assignment to Complexity Band

There is no doubt that the rules allow a court on detailed assessment to limit a party’s recoverable costs to those that would have been applicable to a particular track even if the matter settled pre-allocation. That is what CPR 46.13(3) expressly provides for: “Where the court is assessing costs ...
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Fixed Recoverable Costs – Complexity Bands

One of the likely future battlegrounds arising from the extension of Fixed Recoverable Costs is the issue of what complexity band a matter should be assigned to. The natural assumption is that claimants will seek to have matters assigned to higher complexity bands (where the recoverable costs will be higher), ...
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Transitional provisions for non-PI Fixed Recoverable Costs

A recent post commented on problems with the drafting of the transitional provisions concerning Fixed Recoverable Costs. The latest Minutes from the Civil Procedure Rules Committee recognises this issue: “It was NOTED that a recent article had given rise to a concern in relation to the transitional provisions within the ...
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Costs webinar on clinical negligence costs

Costs webinar from Kings Chambers’ Andrew Hogan and Kevin Latham on clinical negligence costs including hourly rates, budgeting, the use of ADR/mediation and fixed costs.  
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2024 Guideline Hourly Rates

The Master of the Rolls has approved new guideline hourly rates to come into force from 1 January 2024 and thereafter to be uplifted annually by the Services Producer Price Index. Grade Fee earner London 1 London 2 London 3 National 1 National 2 A Solicitors and legal executives with over 8 years’ ...
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Liverpool solicitor Robin Makin named as ‘AB/X’ in anonymity case

The latest twist in the long running saga of AB v Secretary of State for Justice [2023] EWHC 72 (KB) (and X v The Transcription Agency LLP & Anor [2023] EWHC 1092 (KB)) is that AB/X, who previously benefited from an anonymity order, has been revealed as high profile solicitor ...
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