Costs budgeting

HH Judge Simon Brown QC writing in the New Law Journal on the perils of getting costs budgeting wrong:

“There are now quite a few cases being reported of leading law firms making an expensive hash of electronic disclosure and paying for it. There must be many cases where unbudgeted or low budgeted disclosure costs have proved wildly inadequate when the case proceeded to detailed assessment. Who then pays the costs of it, particularly if the disclosure has been badly handled or been excessive or out of control as the result of poor co-operation between the parties? Answer, the errant laws firms.”

4 thoughts on “Costs budgeting

  1. With the usual caveats re the opponents’ conduct. As a side note I have to say most costs I deal with (for receiving parties) are almost always increased by the conduct and general ineptitude of paying parties. Lets hope it continues.

  2. ah, but the important aspect of Henry was in the obiter comments;- Courts will take a much more active role in case and costs management. Its no use a draftsman arguing on DA the other side caused the costs increase by their conduct – the solicitor has to point it out to the Court as the case goes along, and tha Court will deral with that conduct accordingly. Yes, it will continue. No, it will not be for draftsmen to deal with. Eyes open please!

  3. But surely conduct cannot be determined until the end of the case i.e. when the parties know who has won (and has proved their pleaded case) and who has lost (and wasted costs in proceeding with the litigation). My eyes are fairly open, thanks.

  4. with respect, No. the primary duty on both parties, is to assist the court in case and costs managing the case at all stages throughout. this includes, if one parties conduct, is causing disproportionate and unecessary costs to be incurred, and the Court MUST be told of this and costs revised accordingly (with the implication otherwise, the complaint will be otherwise case managed by that conduct being stopped).
    this is the whole point of the costs budgeting provisions – to do away with wasteful costs which remain unknown and not dealt with until the end of the case.
    Unless solicitors and draftsmen get this point, then it remains as before, eyes wide shut, and that will not result in windfalls on DA

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