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  EWCA Civ 1001
For further information please contact Catherine Penny, Senior Associate, or Lorna Sleave, Associate, or your usual S&B contact.