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The draft amendments to the CPR implementing Jackson state that provisional assessment will apply to all detailed assessment proceedings commenced in the High Court or a county court on or after 1 April 2013 where the amount claimed is £75,000 or less.
The court will not award more than £1,500 to any party in respect of the costs of the provisional assessment.
Even at Grade D rates that’s a maximum of a little under 13 hours work (rather less if the instructing solicitor has any input at a higher hourly rate and it is actually not clear from the draft rules as to whether the £1,500 is even meant to include any VAT). Not very much for what are sometimes fairly lengthy bills, particularly once additional liabilities are stripped out.
Efficiency will rule. There will be no room for protracted negotiations. Make your best offer at the outset.
Although, at that price it might be worth running rather more cases to assessment.