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Partial Approval of Costs Budgets

View profile for Nicholas Lee
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Wright v Rowland [2016] EWHC 2206 (Comm)


This case concerns costs management. The Claimant’s budget had been agreed by the Defendants. The Defendants' budgets were not agreed. The parties had very different views as to the complexity of the claim and the issues in dispute.


Flaux J was concerned that in approving the Defendants' budgets, on one view of the rules, this could lead to costs within the budget being recoverable without a detailed assessment. Equally it could be unfair to the Defendants to set a budget at a very low level if the case proves to be as complex as they suggest.

Possible Solutions

Flaux J highlighted three ways of dealing with the Defendants’ budgets. The first would be to set a budget based on a compromise between the parties’ respective positions. The second would be to elect not to make a costs management order and leave the Defendants' costs to be subject to a detailed assessment if they are successful. The third option would be to look at elements of the costs budget that are suitable for approval.


Flaux J concluded that the most appropriate course of action would be to approve some elements of the budget and leave the remainder for determination on detailed assessment.

Click here for the full decision.