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Costs Management

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The Ministry of Justice has published their 60th update to the CPR, which includes guidance on completing the Precedent H for costs management. Unfortunately, this guidance is not as clear as I am sure it was intended to be and there are a number of inconsistencies.

It was anticipated that all work done pre-action would be claimed under the pre-action phase. However, the guidance states that this must not include work already incurred in relation to any other phase of the budget. Therefore it seems you will need to identify work done by each phase both pre-action and for future costs. Or does it? You will note that advising on settlement and Part 36 offers is included under the pre-action phase, however it also appears in its own phase.

It is interesting to note that quantum does not appear anywhere in the guidance. Where will you claim that work?

Until the teething issues are resolved by case law or further guidance is provided, it seems to me that the important thing for solicitors to do is establish a unified policy within their practice and be prepared to explain the costs you claim under each phase.

Click here to read the full update and the guidance notes on Precedent H.

For more information, contact Nick Lee.