Cook on Costs Jackson Review Supplement (free chapter available!)

To coincide with the implementation of the Jackson Review of Civil Litigation Costs, LexisNexis have published a one–off Cook on Costs 2013 Jackson Review Supplement in July 2013, discussing the reforms to the costs of litigation, including, but not limited to:

  • Success fees and after–the–event insurance premiums
  • Introduction of Damages Based Agreements
  • Unreasonable refusal of Part 36 Offers
  • 10% increase in general damages for breach of contract and tort
  • Qualified one–way fee shifting (QOCS)
  • Compulsory budgeting
  • Illegality of payment of referral fees in personal injury litigation
  • Case and costs management of litigation – regulation by the judiciary
  • Redefinition of proportionality of costs between the parties

To give you a taste of the contents of this excellent supplement, we have been given access to chapter 7 on Proportionality.

Reform and the Case for Reform

The concept of proportionality is central to the reforms. Jackson saw his remit in his review of civil litigation costs was ‘to promote access to justice at proportionate costs’ (chapter 4, para 1.14 of the ‘review of civil lit costs: Final report'). A noble aim but one that brought with it the concerns of the legal community that the pursuit of justice has been qualified. “The answer in any given case is that this definition will lead to whatever the judge considering the check-list, in the context of the case before him/her, decides is proportionate with the parameters of a reasonable exercise of judicial discretion." (Cook on Costs 2013 Jackson Review Supplement, Chapter 7) This inevitably brings a concern that a more thorough investigation may be permitted in one court than in another.

Proportionality is central to the new costs management regime and the way in which the court will determine the budget; proportionality will ultimately determine a budget figure for each phase, although curiously, at the time of setting the budget, the identity of the paying party is unknown - will the court assume that when setting each budget figure that the party is the receiving party?

The chapter goes onto consider the reversal of Lownds and the court's new approach which should be to first make an assessment of reasonable costs and then decide if those costs are proportional. If they are not, they should be reduced as appropriate.

Practical Application and Effect of the Reform

Case management and costs management go hand in hand and this chapter goes onto consider several areas which are directly impacted by proportionality, including allocation, use of standard direction templates, witnesses and witness statements, disclosure, experts, relief from sanctions, trial, assessment of costs and agreement of budgets and directions.

Rather than re-publish this chapter verbatim, please email us for your free chapter.

Click here for further details regarding the Cook on Costs 2013 Jackson Review Supplement which was published in July 2013. Click here for information on Cook on Costs 2014.

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