With effect from the 1st October 2015, CPR 47.6 was amended to alter the requirements for the commencement of Detailed Assessment proceedings. In cases in which a costs management Order has been made, a breakdown of the costs for each phase of the proceedings must be provided.
This means that the Court will be paying even closer attention to the work spent by solicitors and paying parties will very easily be able to tell whether receiving parties have exceed their approved limit in the various phases. Thus not only must solicitors be conscious of the time they are spending on the many tasks required in conducting a claim, they must set aside time for monitoring the various phases to ensure that no phase exceeds the level ordered by the Court at the Cost Management Hearing.
Fortunately, we are well equipped to produce a breakdown that will meet the new requirements, together with the Bill of Costs, and are therefore well placed to be able to comply with the new rule.
As soon as you are in receipt of your Notice of Proposed Allocation, you will see the date at which your Cost Budget is due to be filed at Court. We will arrange for collection of your file and prepare your Cost Budget. We will review and cost all your incurred time and prepare assumptions:
Once we have prepared our assumptions, we will prepare a flowchart that reflects how we predict the litigation will proceed:
Updated Cost Budget
It usually takes a period of two to three months until the matter is actually listed for a CCMC. As soon as a CCMC has been listed, please let us know and we will then arrange to get your file back and update the Cost Budget to ensure that it is up to date as far in advance as possible ahead of the CCMC.
Agreeing Cost Budget
Together with Notice of the CCMC, the Courts will usually order that the parties enter into negotiations to try and agree the Cost Budgets. At this point, we will undertake negotiations on your behalf to try and agree the Cost Budgets with the other side.
Should no agreement be reached between the parties, one of our Cost Advocates will readily attend the CCMC to deal with the costs.
Cost Budget monitoring
Following on from the CCMC, we will regularly keep in touch with you to ensure that none of the phases approved at the CCMC will be exceeded. In addition, monitoring the Cost Budget will allow us to ascertain whether you are close to exceeding a phase and will prompt us to consider making an Application to amend the Cost Budget. Indeed, we would recommend that any Application is made before the phase is exceeded in order for the Application to have the best chance at being successful.
Settlement of Damages
Upon settlement, you would then send back your file to our offices, where we would then be in possession of all the information as to the approved Cost Budget and would be able to draft the final Bill of Costs to reflect the approved phases.
Our information systems are fully equipped to comply with the same and alert us when the costs incurred exceed any of the phases:
In addition, our systems allow us to split the Bill of Costs to reflect:
- Change in retainer
- Old Proportionality/New Proportionality Test
- The various phases
- The costs incurred before and after the budget was approved
As mentioned previously, from the 1st October 2015, CPR 47.6 was amended to alter the requirements for the commencement of Detailed Assessment proceedings where, in cases in which a costs management Order has been made, a breakdown of the costs for each phase of the proceedings must be provided. This is known as ‘Precedent Q’ and will be prepared by us for each relevant case and served with the Bill of Costs.
Settlement of Costs
Once the final Bill of Costs is served together with the Precedent Q, we would then enter into negotiations with the other side with a view to reaching a final settlement of your costs.
Article by Avi Dolties, Solicitor & Helen Coates, Costs Draftsman
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