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Costs and Litigation Funding Newsletter - January 2019

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Happy New Year!

We hope that you had a good Christmas break, and that 2019 is a prosperous and successful year for you and your organisation.

We have few seminars coming up …

  1. On 21st March 2019, we are organising a Serious Injury Conference at our offices in Leeds, more details can be found on the website. We still have places left so please email Laura Courbet if you would like to register.
  2. Our next Costs and Litigation Funding masterclass will take place on Thursday 16th May 2019 at our offices so please save the date.
  3. We will be confirming the date for another Costs and Litigation Funding masterclass in October 2019.

Brexit – will it impact costs law and litigators?

Brexit – it’s the word we now all dread! Who knows what will happen by 29 March 2019, we all sit in anticipation (or boredom!) of what will happen over the next 56 days. 

The good news is that the impact on costs law will be minimal in the event that there is a no deal withdrawal, and in essence, the costs world will continue as normal. However, there will be an impact for litigators and consequently a knock on effect for Costs Lawyers in terms of service of documents. Here is the extract from the Civil Procedure Rules Committee’s notes from their November meeting.

”The current draft text of tracked changed amendments to the rules and PDs which are likely to be formed by Statutory Instrument in the event of a no deal withdrawal. The rules and related PDs affected are CPR Parts 5, 6, 8, 12, 13, 25, 30, 31, 32, 34, 63, 68, 74, and 78, as well as the rules for the Intellectual Property Court. Each have been divided amongst the sub committee membership to review; the findings from which have been relayed to drafting lawyers. 
The draft amendments are voluminous and vary in complexity. However, in many cases the process has been more mechanical, amounting to removing redundant rules and directions. It was noted that CPR 6 (Service) is particularly extensive.

Unless there is a Brexit Deal, it will be necessary for this to be back before the committee in December with the expectation of a final advisory position being determined at the February CPRC.”

Be prepared for significant amendments to the Civil Procedure Rules if a deal cannot be reached with the European Union.

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

A new year, a new statement of costs. But why stop at that? A few intended changes to Costs Management too.

The Civil Procedure Rules Committee have been hard at work again coming up with solutions to the problems that have been encountered by the legal profession since the Jackson reforms nearly 6 years ago. Following the scratching of many heads, a few of those creases have been ironed out and the following proposals have been made:

Statements of costs

A voluntary 2-year pilot scheme for the new statement of costs will be implemented, starting from 1 April 2019.

The current proposals are for two new forms of costs statements, namely N260A and N260B which may be used for summary assessment. These new forms will include a VAT declaration and the forms will now include the signature of a legal representative, which is in line with the rules, as opposed to a company partner. The Form N260A will cross refer to the document schedule in the summary. No model forms are available yet. 

Master Howarth has suggested that the precedent Q, the document that identifies whether there has been an under or overspend in a phase of a budget, is incorporated into the statement of costs. This will create transparency at the summary assessment stage regarding the amount incurred in comparison to the approved budget - supporting the need for a well drafted budget.
The committee is to give consideration to lower value cases and the relevance of statements of costs for those cases where there will never be a summary assessment, as there was concern regarding the wasted costs incurred in those instances.

Costs management

The precedent H costs budget will remain the same, but there will be some adjustments to the guidance notes to align costs budgeting with the new electronic bill approach. 

There has been many a debate regarding what date the incurred costs should be included up to in the budget and there is tension in the wording of the rules in that regard. The committee have recognised this and have debated the very same problem. They have understood that differing practices appear to be in place and that overall there is value in a consistent approach. It has been advised that this issue should be resolved as part of a future review of the practice direction. 

There will be some adjustments to the precedent R, however that is the only guidance that has been provided at this stage, so the amendments remain unknown for the time being.

Costs capping in the business courts

Following on from our blogs and newsletter over a year and half ago, the voluntary capped costs pilot scheme went live this month, to coincide with the launch of the disclosure pilot scheme. The capped costs pilot scheme will apply to the Business and Property Courts in Leeds and Manchester (Chancery, Circuit Commercial and the Technology and Construction Court) and the London Circuit Commercial Court. 

Any questions? Please contact Sue Fox on Sue.fox@clarionsolicitors.com or call on 0113 336 3389.

 

Disclaimer: Anything posted on this blog is for general information only and is not intended to provide legal advice on any general or specific matter. Please refer to our terms and conditions for further information. Please contact the author of the blog if you would like to discuss the issues raised.