Criticism of the current costs system

Arnold J recently delivered some stinging criticism of the current approach to controlling legal costs. In the case of Research in Motion UK Ltd v Visto Corporation [2008] EWHC 3026 (Pat) he stated:

“the traditional approach to costs control of litigation in this country, which is after the event by way of an assessment of costs which limits the amount that can be recovered by the receiving party from the paying party, is inadequate and unsatisfactory. If we are to move to a system which better controls litigation costs, restricting ourselves to after the event remedies is unlikely to have the desired effect. A more proactive before the event approach is required.”

The recent rule change relating to costs capping orders is all the more surprising in light of this type of comment. I will be dealing with this change in more detail in a future posting.

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