Costs Budgets – New Deadlines, New Problems?

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Posted on: December 21st, 2015 by Kerry Morton

It was recently announced by the Civil Procedure Rule Committee that new deadlines for filing Costs Budgets will be introduced in the near future. The committee held a meeting in November and has determined that claims worth less than £50,000.00, Costs Budgets should be filed with the Directions Questionnaire. For claims over the £50,000.00 threshold, Costs Budgets will be required 21 days prior to the CMC. The current deadline for all claims is date specified on the provisional allocation notice or if not date is specified then 7 clear days prior to the CMC.

Whilst no specific timeframe has been indicated, the rule change will inevitably cause mayhem in its transitional stages and no doubt for several months after. It will be interesting to see this proposal in practice.

Solicitors know all too well the reality of receiving late notice from the Court for a CMC. No doubt eyebrows are being raised by all concerned at the ability to comply with such premature deadlines, especially in circumstances where the Court does not provide sufficient notice. The Civil Procedure Rules (CPR 29 PD 5.7) only requires 3 days notice of CMC to be given.

As the rules currently stand, parties will be in breach of the rules where sufficient notice of the hearing is not given, therefore this rule will need to be amended accordingly.

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