Further to our May 2017 update on fixed recoverable costs, a new voluntary capped costs pilot scheme is soon to be introduced in the High Court for claims up to £250,000 proceeding in the London Mercantile Court or the Mercantile, Chancery or Technology and Construction courts in Manchester and Leeds.
The draft proposal, published by the Civil Procedure Rule Committee, sets out capped costs for each stage of the litigation with an overall cap on costs of £80,000. The pilot is intended to have a streamlined procedural code similar to the Shorter Trials Scheme including a trial to be fixed within eight months of the Case Management Conference. The scheme will be voluntary and both sides must agree to take part. There is no start date for the two year pilot as yet.
This will be a further scheme introduced by the Courts to attempt to manage parties’ costs. Another is the Shorter Trials Scheme introduced in 2015 (see our earlier note), where uptake has been limited despite the potential cost saving benefits.