Costs budget discussion reports (BD reports)
Costs budget discussion reports (BD reports)

The following Dispute Resolution guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Costs budget discussion reports (BD reports)
  • What are costs budget discussion (BD) reports?
  • When are BD reports required?
  • Filing BD reports
  • Is there a precedent BD report?
  • How do I complete Precedent R?
  • Multiple parties and BD reports
  • BD reports—frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What are costs budget discussion (BD) reports?

The costs management regime, introduced as part of the Jackson Reforms, requires the parties to co-operate and seek to agree each other’s costs budget. Where there is such agreement, the court will record it on the costs management order (CMO) (CPR 3.15(2)(a) and (c), CPR PD 3E, para 7.3) and where there is no agreement, the court must review the costs in dispute and make any revisions it considers appropriate, before approving the budget. For more information, see Practice Notes: Costs management and costs budgeting—general principles and Costs budgeting—courts' approach.

Prior to 2016, there was no formal process for the parties to seek agreement or for presenting any disagreements about budgets to the court. On a practical level this caused the courts difficulties and some judges specifically requested that parties provide a costs schedule setting out what was agreed/disagreed to assist the court when dealing with the costs budgets at the costs management conference (CMC), especially if being heard on the papers. The introduction of costs budget discussion reports (BD reports) formalised this previously informal process.

BD reports are designed to assist the judge in understanding what costs have been agreed between the parties and which costs are disputed and why. They also have a role to play in reducing the overall costs and