SENIOR COURTS COSTS OFFICE
London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
Senior Costs Judge
(suing as Administrator of the estate, and on behalf of the dependants of MP, deceased)
|- and -
|CARDIFF & VALE UNIVERSITY LOCAL HEALTH BOARD
Mr David Kiernan (of Acumension) for the Defendant
Hearing dates: 3rd, 4th and 5th August 2015
Crown Copyright ©
Master Gordon-Saker :
The base fees claimed in the bill of costs are within the budget set by the court, even allowing for the fact that the matter did not proceed to trial.
i) That the costs claimed for work done before 1st April 2013 did not appear to be disproportionate.
ii) That the costs allowed for work done after 1st April 2013 were not disproportionate.
iii) That the bill should have been divided into parts to reflect the phases of the budget, work done before and after 1st April 2013 and the costs of budgeting.
iv) That, for the purposes of the caps prescribed by paragraph 7.2 of Practice Direction 3E, the costs of budgeting included additional liabilities but did not include value added tax.
Where the amount of costs is to be assessed on the standard basis, the court will –
a) only allow costs which are proportionate to the matters in issue; andb) resolve any doubt which it may have as to whether costs were reasonably incurred or reasonable and proportionate in amount in favour of the paying party.
(2) Where the amount of costs is to be assessed on the standard basis, the court will –
a) only allow costs which are proportionate to the matters in issue. Costs which are disproportionate in amount may be disallowed or reduced even if they were reasonably or necessarily incurred; andb) resolve any doubt which it may have as to whether costs were reasonably and proportionately incurred or were reasonable and proportionate in amount in favour of the paying party.
(5) Costs incurred are proportionate if they bear a reasonable relationship to –
a) the sums in issue in the proceedings;b) the value of any non-monetary relief in issue in the proceedings;c) the complexity of the litigation;d) any additional work generated by the conduct of the paying party; ande) any wider factors involved in the proceedings, such as reputation or public importance.
… it seems likely that, as the courts develop the law, the approach will be as Sir Rupert described it:
'. . . in an assessment of costs on the standard basis, proportionality should prevail over reasonableness and the proportionality test should be applied on a global basis. The court should first make an assessment of reasonable costs, having regard to the individual items in the bill, the time reasonably spent on those items and the other factors listed in CPR rule 44.5(3). The court should then stand back and consider whether the total figure is proportionate. If the total figure is not proportionate, the court should make an appropriate reduction. There is already a precedent for this approach in relation to the assessment of legal aid costs in criminal proceedings: see R v Supreme Court Taxing Office ex p John Singh and Co  1 Costs LR 49.' (final report para 5.13)
Work done before 1st April 2013
Work done after 1st April 2013
The format of the bill - proportionality
Where it is necessary or convenient to do so, a bill of costs may be divided into two or more parts, each part containing sections (2), (3) and (4) above.
The format of the bill – budget phases
In any case where a costs management order has been made, when assessing costs on the standard basis, the court will –
a) have regard to the receiving party's last approved or agreed budget for each phase of the proceedings; andb) not depart from such approved or agreed budget unless satisfied that there is good reason to do so.
The format of the bill – the costs of budgeting
Save in exceptional circumstances-
a) the recoverable costs of initially completing Precedent H shall not exceed the higher of £1,000 or 1% of the approved or agreed budget; andb) all other recoverable costs of the budgeting and costs management process shall not exceed 2% of the approved or agreed budget.
Accordingly on detailed assessment it will be necessary to identify (a) the costs of initially completing Precedent H and (b) all other costs of the budgeting and costs management process. Where a costs management order has been made and the receiving party's budget has been agreed by the paying party or approved by the court it will be both necessary and convenient that the bill be divided so as to identify the costs of initially completing Precedent H and the other costs of the budgeting and costs management process, unless those costs can be clearly identified in some other way. In the present case it was necessary for the parties to spend time in the hearing to identify the items of work which related to the budgeting and costs management process. Had the overall result been different the Claimant may have been expected to pay the costs of that in any event.
The costs of the budgeting and costs management process