The recent updates to the CPR come in to force from 1 October 2015 and the most significant from a costs drafting point of view, is the amendment to Part 47.6. Here there is an addition at CPR 47.6(1)(c) which states that detailed assessment proceedings are commenced by the receiving party serving the Notice of Commencement, the Bill of Costs, and:
“if a costs management order has been made, a breakdown of the costs claimed for each phase of the proceedings”.
This poses some further questions:
- How detailed must this breakdown be?
- In what form should it be presented?
- Should the receiving party show the hours and rate, or just the profit costs?
- What if the Bill was served before 1 October 2015 but is assessed after?
We are then looking at a Bill, possibly split into various Parts (to reflect VAT changes, funding changes, indemnity costs, proportionality arguments, to name but a few) and then an additional breakdown, trying to correlate the costs claimed in each Part of the Bill against a Budget breakdown.
Whilst all good Costs Draftsmen head to the pleadings bundle early on when costing a file, it adds to the importance of Solicitors to provide their Costs Draftsman with all the Court Orders, and details of any costs management orders in their letter of instruction.
We understand Precedent Q is being introduced to enable the parties to compare the costs, and we have access to this to allow us to comply with the updated rules.
This amendment adds yet another document to the long list that requires serving by the receiving party when beginning the detailed assessment process, but it should help those recover their costs when they have stuck to their Budget. The trouble is for those times when the Budget, or phases of it, are exceeded.
If you have any questions or queries in relation to costs management or costs generally, then please do not hesitate to contact Tom Brocklebank on 01228 815394 or click here to email him.