Post Jackson any changes?
This article was first published in the Marketform MedMal magazine.
The new legal landscape has now been traversed for the best part of 6 months so what has changed?
On the face of it not too much; the simple reason being the majority of the changes introduced were not retrospective and it is the cases issued
post April 2013 and work undertaken post April 2013 that will be scrutinised in the coming months.
Solicitors, Barristers and Costs Lawyers alike await early guidance with regard to, for example, how the Costs Judges will apply the new rules relating to Proportionality
. We are attempting to get to grips with the fact that costs â€œwhich are disproportionate in amount may be disallowed or reduced even if they were reasonably or necessarily incurred
but just how will the Costs Judges, as suggested in the Jackson report and subsequently, undertake a detailed assessment over a number of days allowing only items considered reasonable and proportionate to the issues involved and amounts claimed â€œstand backâ€ at the end of the assessment to consider the total allowed and then if the figure still appears â€œdisproportionateâ€ make a further reduction? Should the Costs Judge simply allow a total figure he finds acceptable? Should a percentage reduction be applied? Should the damages (if any) be taken in to account i.e. costs not more than the damages recovered or damages plus 20%? Costs Judges have confessed to not knowing the answer and unavoidable satellite litigation looms.
have been embraced by both sides though not it must be said warmly; teething problems still need to be addressed particularly in respect of the available â€œon lineâ€ budgets which to date have failed to carry out correctly the necessary calculations...still early days and certainly the judiciary appears to have taken to budgeting.
However it is case management which has really been adopted with great relish by the Courts if early cases are any thing to go by. Amendments to budgets are not being entertained unless there is very (very) good reason; cases are being struck out for non compliance with time tables set out in the Civil Procedure Rules and Judges are being advised that strong case management decisions will be supported by the Court of Appeal.
To read more of this article by Gary Knight including his take on 'Plebgate' just click here.
*CPR 44.3 (2) (a)