Jackson Reforms: Update Three Months On COSTS BUDGETING

Jackson Reforms: Update Three Months On COSTS BUDGETING

Three months have now passed since the implementation of a major tranche of the Jackson Reforms. The LexisNexis Dispute Resolution team has been looking at the key court decisions to date and assessing what assistance these cases can provide in interpreting the new provisions. In particular, attention is drawn to areas where practitioners need to exercise care, at least until a binding Court of Appeal decision is in place.

In the first of a series of posts, we highlight the first of six main areas; costs budgeting.

Costs budgeting is a key area of the reforms and one that has been causing practitioners much anxiety. The courts have issued a stark warning to those not complying but equally there are potential rewards to be had too. Practitioners must be mindful that costs must be proportionate to the issues regardless of the agreed budget and that budgets should be amended downwards as well as upwards, where appropriate.

Some key updates include:

  • Court fees must be included in the costs budget (form H). (subscribers should note that an interactive precedent is available on LexisPSL)
  •  Costs budgeting applies to clinical negligence claims.
  • There is now case law to provide guidance on issues such as indemnity costs, revision of costs budgets and the importance of making an application immediately the need for revision arises. In addition, that rectification of the costs budget is unlikely to be granted if the reason for amendment is to address mistakes of the party who prepared the estimate.
  • Benefits of sticking to the costs budget (although simply coming in under budget may not be deemed to be reasonable and proportionate if the matter ends up at detailed assessment)

We are interested to hear of your own experiences as well. Please leave us a comment below.

The full content of this update is available to subscribers of LexisPSL. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to find out more and to access a free trial.

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About the author:

Janna is a dispute resolution lawyer. She deals primarily with cross border issues and is active in the work being undertaken in relation to the implications of Brexit for Dispute Resolutions lawyers. Janna also heads up a LexisNexis costs team bringing together expertise from across the company to deal with the costs issues facing the profession.