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I have been warning that costs practitioners did not appear to be ready for the post-Jackson reforms.
I have so far received two set of Replies prepared after 1 April 2013, prepared by well known costs firms. Both contained detailed responses to the disputes raised as to hourly rates, detailed responses in relation to attendances on the claimants and other parties and detailed responses to the challenges to document time, including general denials that the work claimed was unreasonable.
It appears those responsible for drafting the documents are unaware of the contents of the new Practice Direction 12.1 to CPR 47.13:
“A reply served by the receiving party under Rule 47.13 must be limited to points of principle and concessions only. It must not contain general denials, specific denials or standard form responses.”
For those unsure what might be classed as a “point of principle” look at the new Model Points of Dispute. Disputes as to hourly rates, the number of conferences with counsel or the number of fee earners attending, attendances on the claimant, document time or time claimed drafting and checking the bill are not treated as points of principle.
I’ve also received, what purported to be, a Part 36 offer in a matter where detailed assessment proceedings had been commenced before 1 April 2013.
Dear oh dear.