Court of Appeal confirms - Claimant can only recover court fees from the Defendant on a claim for more than £3 million, because no costs budget filed

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A recent Court of Appeal decision has confirmed the strict approach taken by the Courts when a party fails to file a costs budget, and endorses the principles set out by the Court in 2013 following ‘plebgate’ when Andrew Mitchell’s legal team failed to file a cost budget.

Since 2013, to assist the Court in managing costs and limit the potential for escalation of costs, parties are generally required to file a budget early on in the proceedings setting out their anticipated costs for the claim through to trial. In Jamadar, the Claimant’s solicitors incorrectly believed that a costs budget was not required and did not file one. 

The Civil Procedure Rules (‘CPR’) spell out that if you fail to produce a costs budget, you can only recover the Court fees from your opponent, unless you can successfully apply for ‘relief from sanctions’. 

Given the significant consequences of not filing a costs budget, if there is any doubt, then file one otherwise you might find yourself in the receiving end of a comment similar to that made about the solicitor in this case:

“He took a rather arrogant decision that, based upon the wording of the order, [that] budgets were not required…Any sensible solicitor, even if they believed that they were right about the law, would probably have prepared the budget.”

This is a warning indeed! 

Jamadar v Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust [2016] EWCA Civ 1001  

For further information please contact Catherine Penny, Senior Associate, or Lorna Sleave, Associate, or your usual S&B contact.

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Catherine Penny, Lorna Sleave

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