Michael Burt v Linford Christie (10/02/14) (Birmingham County Court)
In this personal injury matter, the Claimant filed a costs budget with the Directions Questionnaire but the Defendant did not. The Notice of Proposed Allocation had given dates for filing of the Directions Questionnaire and other steps, but the Notice did not mention budgets.
It was found that the failure to file a budget with the Directions Questionnaire was not a breach as no date was specified in the Notice of Proposed Allocation. The Defendant therefore was entitled to rely on the second part of CPR 3.13, to file the budget ‘seven days before the first CMC’.
Defendant’s costs budget should therefore have been filed by the 16 January as this was 7 ‘clear’ working days before the CMC, however the Defendant served the budget by fax on the Claimant on 17 January. As the fax number to the court was permanently engaged, the Defendant put the Court’s copy in the DX and this arrived on 20 January which was the next working day.
At the CMC on 24/01/14, District Judge Lumb ruled that filing a costs budget even a day late was not ‘trivial’ and so the Defendant’s costs were limited to Court fees only.