Cost News

Kathryn Regan

Latest updates in the world of costs

The approved minutes of the CPRC meetings which took place on 1 December 2023 and 2 February 2024 became available recently. In the December meeting, it was noted that a report in respect of fixed recoverable costs in clinical negligence claims had been provisionally scheduled for the CPRC February 2024 meeting but this has been pushed back to the March 2024 meeting, so expect to hear further on this soon.

Proposed reforms in relation to fixed costs determinations and fixing costs of Part 8 (costs only) proceedings were not adopted by the CPRC in the December meeting, with Lord Justice Birss being unconvinced of the need for a lengthy new process involving rule and PD amendments. It was said there was “unease with adopting the proposal in its current form, if at all”. Nonetheless, the MOJ said they were pressing ahead with reform in this area to be introduced in October 2024. Therefore, this was addressed in the February 2024 meeting, where a new Section X was approved for determining fixed costs matters, which is distinct from assessment, including a new precedent form relating to fixed costs. Expect this amendment to come into force in October 2024.

In addition, subject to final drafting, amendments were approved to:

  • recoverability of restoration proceedings (a revised CPR 45.15A and new Table 15A to provide for the allowable disbursements),
  • timing for the admission of clinical negligence claims to be allocated to the intermediate track (a new amendment came into force on 6 April 2024 providing that where liability is admitted in full in the pre-action letter of response, a clinical negligence claim need not be allocated to the Multi Track),
  • entitlement to costs where there is more than one claimant (a revision to CPR 45.5(8) clarifying the calculation required),
  • recoverability of VAT in fixed costs matters (revision to CPR 45.8 and 45.15A),
  • the definition of ‘day’ in relation to the number of days before Trial during which a matter is settled/vacated and the advocate is entitled to receive their fixed recoverable costs (revision to CPR 2.8),
  • costs of preliminary issues (new rules 45.48(3) and (4) and 45.51(5) and (6) to be expected, presumably in October 2024), and
  • uprating the fixed recoverable costs figures via the SPPI inflationary index

In relation to the latter, the new figures were released under the 163rd update to the CPR and came into force on 6 April 2024.


In respect of Court of Protection, as many practitioners will be aware, the assessment of Court of Protection bills has been somewhat of an issue in the last 12 months+. There have been significant delays in the processing side and the actual assessment of the bills. However, the Court have been pro-active in trying to keep everyone up to date with their service user updates.

Whilst we all live in hope that at some point, the service user updates will no longer be required, for the moment they are providing a fairly accurate guide as to the position and queue length.

As of 2 April 2024, Costs Officers were being assigned bills for which supporting papers were received around the end of May, so that is some 10 months ago.

The admin team were dispatching assessed bills returned by the Costs Officers during the fourth week of March, so these are almost up to date.

With regards to e-filings, those that have been submitted – but have not yet been accepted or rejected – were being worked on with the latest filings submitted around the 1st week of December 2023.

In terms of Final Costs Certificates, the Court advised that they were broadly up-to-date in relation to these!