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Changes to costs budgeting

From April 2016 the rules for costs budgeting will change again. The highlights are:

  • Where the value of the claim is under £50,000 the parties will only need to complete the first page of the Precedent H
  • Claims on behalf of children will be exempted from costs management
  • Where the Claimant has a “limited or severely impaired life expectation” (such as in mesothelioma cases) the Court will usually disapply costs management
  • The timing for filing Precedent Hs will change. Parties in lower value cases will need to file budgets with the Directions Questionnaire. In other cases budgets will need to be filed 7 (clear) days before the CMC
  • There is a new form, a “budget discussion report” which will formalise the parties’ submissions on the costs claimed
  • The rules are amended to provide that details of the costs claimed in each phase should be provided when the costs are assessed. Bills divided by reference to phase will be mandatory where costs are on the standard basis and the budget has been agreed or approved.

The statutory instrument can be found here, and the PD making document is here.

There were rumours the Precedent H itself would be amended to show the costs of drafting the Precedent H separately, and that further guidance would be provided on the phases in which costs were to be claimed but it is not yet clear whether these changes will occur in April.