Paragon Costs Solutions’ Nick Lee took centre stage at Legal Futures’ inaugural Civil Litigation Conference in London on 19 March as leading judges and practitioners gathered to debate the changing face of civil and commercial litigation.
Nick shared his views on costs management and detailed assessments – the process by which the court determines the level of costs to be paid by one party to another – with 130 guests.
Joining Nick on the speakers’ platform during the ‘future of costs’ session was Senior Costs Judge Andrew Gordon-Saker and Robert Marven QC, a specialist in all aspects of the law of costs and litigation funding.
The trio discussed the latest legal developments in relation to applications to revise approved costs budgets based on significant developments, and reasons to depart from an approved costs budget at detailed assessment.
Nick explains: “My presentation looked at the value of an award of costs on the indemnity basis where costs have been budgeted. Indemnity basis holds certain advantages over standard basis. In budgeted cases on the standard basis, however, a party can effectively get 100% of their budgeted costs whereas on the indemnity basis, where the approved budget is not necessarily applicable, the costs award could be lower”.
“While indemnity basis is considered by many in the industry to be preferable to standard basis, there may be circumstances when there is no material advantage. Indemnity awards are typically made due to misconduct (penalty) or if a party beats their own offer (reward), so it begs the question of how you penalise and reward in a budgeted world.”
Other areas under the spotlight at the one-day conference included the modernisation of courts, litigation data and analytics, and a discussion on how technology is impacting on courts and practitioners.
The Legal Futures event – which was sponsored by Paragon Costs Solutions – also marked Nick’s highest-profile speaking engagement since he was appointed President of Bristol Law Society, the oldest local law society in the country.
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