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Costs and Litigation Funding Newsletter August 2017

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Fixed Costs - where are we?

On 31 July, LJ Jackson’s report in relation to fixed recoverable costs was revealed, see here. Key points are:

The lord chief justice and master of the rolls responded to the report as follows:

“The report now falls to be considered by us and the government, which is committed to consulting before any proposals are implemented”.

The recommendations represent a significant sea change from what LJ Jackson initially proposed in his various lectures. LJ Jackson was strongly in favour of fixed recoverable costs for all cases with a value of up to £250,000.00. He was very vocal that there should be no ‘Balkanisation’ and a ‘1 size fits all approach’ was required. The report is positive in that it demonstrates that LJ Jackson has listened to his assessors and the various representations made to him during the review.

Many predict an implementation date of October 2018. However, the governments review of the ‘LASPO’ changes is scheduled for 2019, surely it would be sensible to await the outcome of that review before making these changes? The story continues!

Any questions? Please contact me at andrew.mcaulay@clarionsolicitors.com or call me on 0113 336 3334.

Delay for mandatory electronic Bill of Costs due to inadequate Court resources

The mandatory use of the new format bill of costs has been delayed until April 2018 due to concerns regarding the practical issues of implementation.

The Civil Procedure Rule Committee confirmed that whilst the HMCTS and MoJ remain very supportive of the introduction of the new bill, concerns were raised over the practicalities behind making it compulsory within all County Courts by 01 October 2017.

It was recognised that various IT improvements were being made in County Courts within the next year, which included availability of dual screens, WiFi, and laptops, all of which were essential to ensure a successful transition to electronic detailed assessments.

The proposed practice direction to CPR 47 indicates that the electronic bill of costs will be mandatory for work done after 06 April 2018 (the “transition date”), and that a receiving party may choose, if applicable, to serve either a paper bill or electronic bill for work done prior to then.

Whilst there has been a 6 month push back on the implementation date for mandatory use, hopefully by next Spring, Judges will have received training and the Courts will have been provided with the necessary tools to create a positive and successful conversion for all involved.

Any questions? Please contact Joanne at joanne.chase@clarionsolicitors.com or call me on 0113 336 3327.

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