Costs budgeting is to apply to all cases except those where the amount in dispute exceeds £10m

Costs budgeting is to apply to all cases except those where the amount in dispute exceeds £10m

The next CPR update is due to come into force on 1 April 2014, but we are still waiting on the SIs which will detail the changes. In the meantime, an indication of areas which may be subject to amendment is available from the just-published minutes of the CPR Committee meeting of 6 December 2013.

Areas subject to amendment include the following:

1. CPR 3.12 and the possible exceptions to Costs Budgeting:

  • a new exception from costs budgeting for cases exceeds £10m was approved
  • the new exception will apply across all courts
  • there will be a discretion to apply costs management to cases over the £10m threshold
  • there will be rules formulated, along with a practice direction, to guide the exercise of the discretion and to deal with concerns about cases that fall into the £10m¬–£15m bracket

2. Introduction of automatic referral to mediation of small claims cases and introduction of single mediation agreement:

It was agreed that the pilot mediation scheme should be made permanent (with corresponding rule changes). A mediation agreement will be introduced nationally to ensure consistency and allow parties to enforce it in case of breach.

3. Amendments in relation to enforcement:

Claims on control of goods and execution of goods

4. Interpleader claims and applications:

The Committee approved the draft rules in relation to enforcement.

5. Amendment of CPR 63.14(2):

An amendment was approved to this rule in relation to the service of a claim.This amendment arises out of Bullitt Mobile Ltd v Sonim Technologies [2013] EWHC 3367 (IPEC)

6. Amendment of Directions Questionnaires N180 and N181 to include dates to avoid:

It was agreed that these questionnaires should be amended to

(1) allow parties to indicate dates on which they, an expert witness or essential witness could not attend a trial or final hearing for a 6-month (for small claims) or 12-month (for fast track and multi track) period (these amendments will take the form of an extra question) and

(2) require parties to notify the court of any change of dates to avoid for fast track or multi-track cases

7. CPR 81 Contempt and Committal:

Potential anomalies have arisen and these are currently being considered.

Other areas which are also under review include:

1. Single County Court Progress Report and Single County Court:

Further amendments need to be considered, especially in relation to the introduction of automatic referral to mediation and terminology.

2. CPR 30.5 (transfers between specialist lists):

Proposal from the Chancery Bar Association that the judges of the Commercial Court and TCC should lose the power to transfer cases out of the Chancery Division into their own specialist lists, and that the power should be reserved to the Chancery Division itself. It was agreed to ask the Chancery Bar Association to provide further information.

3. Service of Trust Claims:

The paper on service of trust claims out of the jurisdiction has been circulated for comments; the closing date for responses was 14 January 2014.

4. Defamation Subcommittee:

The MoJ is currently considering responses to the consultation; once policy is decided the subcommittee will consider formulation of the rules.

The CPR Committee minutes are accompanied by supporting documents which will shortly be available for LexisNexis subscribers.

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