The new Practice Direction 3.1 to CPR 47.3 increases the powers of principal court officers (I believe I’m right in saying there is currently just one) from £75,000 including additional liabilities but excluding VAT to £110,000 base costs excluding VAT.
By my reckoning that means once you add back in success fees, ATE premiums and VAT the size of bill that can now be assessed by a principal court officer jumps to £300,000 or more.
For non-principal court officers, the power jumps from £30,000 including additional liabilities but excluding VAT to £35,000 base costs excluding VAT. That probably equates to covering some bills with a value of up to £100,000.
In the event that makes you a bit uneasy, particularly given the automatic right of appeal, you can still object. If both parties agree, the court will automatically relist before a costs judge or district judge (Practice Direction 3.2 to CPR 47.3). Otherwise, an application is to be made to a costs judge or district judge (Practice Direction 3.3 to CPR 47.3).