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A Year In Review

View profile for Nicholas Lee
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Wishing you a disproportionately Happy Festive break (on the standard basis) and a Happy New Year (without prejudice save as to costs). This offer is open for acceptance for 21 days (the “relevant period”).


Our Year in Numbers

  • 11 Training Seminars
  • 75 Active Clients
  • 29 New Clients
  • 46 Repeat Clients
  • 472 New Instructions
  • 167 Instructions to act for Receiving Parties
  • 302 Instructions to act for Paying Parties


Detailed Assessments

We have been instructed to deal with several Detailed Assessments. A few highlights:

  • Romania (UK Supreme Court - Costs Judge Leonard and Costs Officer Sewell) - We were instructed on behalf of the Paying Party, Romania, alongside Jamie Carpenter KC. In May this year we had a preliminary hearing dealing with the correct interpretation of the Supreme Court’s Costs Order and the treatment of costs charged and/or paid in a currency other than Sterling. 
  • Woodward (SCCO - Costs Judge Leonard) - We were instructed by the Receiving Party to conduct a 4-day detailed assessment before Costs Judge Leonard in April 2023. This followed a two-day preliminary issues hearing in October 2022 (reported here). The underlying litigation was essentially a building dispute in which the Claimant was unsuccessful at first instance and on appeal against the Second Defendant. The costs dispute then occupied a further 6 days in Court.
  • Cooke (SCCO - Deputy Costs Judge Bedford) - We were instructed on behalf of the Paying Party alongside James Wibberley of Guildhall Chambers. Following a hearing in September 2022, we had a further hearing in January 2023 before Deputy Costs Judge Bedford. Judgment is awaited on issues relating to multiple funding arrangements. This assessment will also deal with the recoverability of costs associated with an inquest, amongst other issues.
  • Buttery (Exeter - District Judge Griffiths) - We were instructed on behalf of the Paying Party in October 2023 at Exeter County Court. The underlying dispute was essentially a boundary dispute between two siblings. The detailed assessment raised a number of issues concerning the format of the bill, departing from the approved budget and hourly rates. The bill was found to be defective and an Order was made that it be re-drawn. The Court applied guideline hourly rates and a budget overspend of £83,833.50 was reduced to just £4,370.


We have also been instructed to deal with a number of CCMCs. A few highlights:

  • (RCJ - Master Teverson) - We were instructed by D1 to deal with Costs Management in relation to a Shareholder Dispute. We prepared the Precedent H and represented D1 at a CCMC before Master Teverson. The Parties’ budgets varied from c£1.1m - £1.7m including multiple contingencies. The Claimant and D2 were represented by Counsel at the hearing.
  • (RCJ – Mr Justice Constable) - We were instructed by the Defendant to deal with Costs Management in relation to claims for breach of contract, breach of warranty and negligent misstatements. We prepared the Precedent H and were instructed to deal with budgets at the CCMC. The respective budgets were c£1.2m and c£500k. The Defendant’s budget was increased to c£660k whereas the Claimant’s budget was reduced to c£980k. The Claimant was represented by Leading Counsel.
  • (High Court in Bristol - HHJ Matthews) - We were instructed by the Petitioners in an unfair prejudice Petition against eight Respondents. The Respondents had served four budgets which had increased from £98,500 to £967,770.60. We prepared the Petitioners’ Precedent H and were instructed to represent them at the CCMC.



Paragon are pleased to have two accredited mediators. We firmly believe that mediation is a cost-effective means of resolving any dispute, not least cost disputes.

Recently, we appointed Erica Bedford of Kings Chambers to assist in a mediation following a claim for professional negligence. The claim settled for c£61,000 and a costs claim followed in the sum of c£280,000. The issues between the parties included proportionality, VAT, hourly rates, use of Counsel, exceeding the budget, unbudgeted costs and interest. Whilst the claim did not settle on the day of the mediation, it settled soon after, having substantially bridged the gap at the mediation. It was incredibly beneficial to have an experienced Costs Barrister and a Deputy Costs Judge help narrow the issues between the parties.


Community Engagement

Paragon are committed to having a positive influence in the Community.

Nick is a Deputy Chair of Trustees and Chair of Finance and Investments at Quartet Community Foundation. He has also recently taken on a role as Trustee of Bristol Old Vic, the oldest working theatre in the English-speaking world.

Lucy is an Enterprise Advisor, a WECA initiative supporting secondary schools with careers advice and contacts.

Dan continues his work on the committee of the Bristol Junior Lawyers Division. Paragon continue to support the JLD with training and networking events.



Who knows what 2024 will bring, but we look forward to working with our wonderful clients, meeting new clients, and dealing with more exciting cases!

Thank you to all those we have worked with in 2023 and we wish you a very happy 2024.