Detailed assessment and costs budgeting
Detailed assessment and costs budgeting

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

  • Detailed assessment and costs budgeting
  • What is costs budgeting and detailed assessment
  • CPR 3.18—assessing costs on a standard basis
  • CPR 3.18—changes in April 2017
  • CPR 3.18(a)—relevance of figures in last approved/agreed budget
  • CPR 3.18(b)—does costs budgeting fetter a judge's discretion on costs assessment?
  • CPR 3.18(b)—what constitutes a ‘good reason’?
  • CPR 3.18(c)—relevance of court comments about incurred costs
  • Indication by the trial judge as to reasonableness of the costs

What is costs budgeting and detailed assessment

Costs budgeting was introduced in 2013 with the Jackson reforms while detailed assessment was a pre-existing procedure. In summary:

  1. costs budgeting takes place during the early stages of the proceedings and the court when reviewing the budgeted costs will consider whether they fall within the range of reasonable and proportionate costs—the court will not undertake a detailed assessment of costs at this stage (CPR PD 47, para 7). In cases in which costs budgeting applies, the courts will generally also make a costs management order (CMO). A CMO is a means by which the court may manage the costs incurred by any party to the proceedings (CPR 3.15(1)) and it also gives the court control of the parties' costs budgets in respect of recoverable costs CPR 3.15(3)). This essentially means that for a party to be able to recover its costs, should it win, it can only expend costs up to the amount set out for each phase in its approved costs budget. Such costs will be recoverable on assessment on a standard basis. For detailed information on costs budgeting and CMOs, see: Costs budgeting and costs management—overview which provides links through to guidance and other content

  2. detailed assessment is the procedure by which the amount of costs payable by one party, the