COSTS NEWS – CIVIL PROCEDURE RULE COMMITTEE’S RECOMMENDATIONS ON COSTS MANAGEMENT
The draft minutes of last month’s CPRC meeting reveal that it decided:
- Cases relating to protected parties should remain within the scope of costs management, likewise clinical negligence and personal injuries cases;
- Cases relating to children should be excluded from the scope of costs management, subject to the normal judicial discretion to apply the regime in an individual case.
- Terminal illness/short life expectancy cases should be dealt with by an indication in the practice direction that it may be appropriate to exercise the discretion to disapply costs management where a party is particularly elderly or has a short life expectancy;
- No specific provision was needed for split trials;
- The existing £10m value band, below which costs management is the norm, should not be modified either generally or for individual categories of case;
- Defendants’ should continue to provide costs budgets;
- Provisions should be included to encourage agreement of costs budgets, with budgets to be filed and exchanged 21 days before a CMC and for the parties to file and exchange alternative figures for phases not agreed seven days before a CMC;
- Whether to deal with costs management on the papers alone was a matter for individual judicial discretion and should not be the subject of specific provision;
- The Precedent H form should be improved in presentation as well as content. Provision for contingencies should continue to be included, but with a steer that it applies only where an event is more likely than not to happen. An attempt should be made to limit the amount of detail provided by way of schedules of assumptions;
- No change should be made to CPR rule 3.18;
- No change should be made in relation to incurred costs, which should be left for detailed assessment in the normal way;
- The simplified Form H should be used for cases up to £50,000 in value, though it was agreed that the aim should be to introduce fixed costs as soon as possible for all such cases; and
- The costs-capping rules should be removed.COSTS NEWS – CIVIL PROCEDURE RULE COMMITTEE’S RECOMMENDATIONS ON COSTS MANAGEMENT
The sub-committee is working on draft amendments, to be considered at the CPRC’s meeting in October 2015.