Another day, another costs conference.
Yesterday I was speaking at the White Paper, rather longwindedly titled: Costs, Funding, Litigation, Jackson: Shaping LASPO into a Highly Developed Litigation Business Model conference on the subject of costs budgeting.
This was another sell out event for White Paper. Hardly a surprise given the quality of their speakers (with one obvious exception yesterday) and given the fantastic pricing. The event is due to be repeated in March and I believe there are still some places left (see link).
One of the other speakers was cost judge Master Haworth. There has been much discussion as to how costs judges will apply the new proportionality test. As Master Haworth pointed out, this issue may not arise. Where a costs management order has been made, which will apply to most multi-track cases in theory (fast-track matters being subject to fixed fees where the issue of proportionality will therefore not arise), we will have an answer as to what costs are deemed to be proportionate. The judge making the costs management order is meant to apply the new proportionality test when setting the budget. It would be unusual for a costs judge to revisit the issue. Costs up to the budget will be deemed proportionate.
None of this provides any kind of an answer as to what level of costs it is proportionate to incur to recover, for example, £30,000. That will now be the dilemma for the judge making the costs management order.
Oh, and then the Court of Appeal.
Oh, and then the Supreme Court.
Oh, and then probably the ECHR for good measure.