BLOG

Limiting the expense and inconvenience of full costs budgeting

A useful procedure has been suggested by one of the Chancery Masters to limit costs budgeting – this is particularly helpful in Tolata cases where parties will often want to keep the costs down.

Where the parties are agreed as to the wish to limit the extent of Costs Budgeting a simple form of budget (possibly page 1 only of Precedent H) can be filed so that the court can see that the budget costs are not wholly outside the norm. The Judge can then make an order avoiding the need for further budgeting and no costs management order will be made. This is within the rules: see CPR 3.15(2):

“(2) The court may at any time make a “costs management order”. Where costs budgets have been filed and exchanged the court will make a costs management order unless it is satsifed that the litigation can be conducted justly and at proportionate cost in accordance with the overriding objective without such an order being made.

The Judge can therefore approve a Precedent H in abridged form as a satisfactory form of costs budget, even if the costs exceed £25,000 and then go on to determine that he is satisfied that the litigation can be conducted justly and at proportionate costs etc. particularly as the costs of the CCMC can be avoided.