Costs News

06 October 2016
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CPR update brings revised Precedent H

This week’s update to the CPR has brought an unexpected amended to Precedent H and a modified pilot of the new bill of costs that moves away from the compulsory use of J-Codes.

Though the CPR website announced a new Precedent H for use from 3 October, it did not explain which changes have been made and the form did not even seem available. It can be found via Practical Law here

The new bill of costs pilot scheme has been extended by a year and modified “to alleviate concerns raised about the existing form’s reliance on J-Codes”.

This appears to reflect Lord Justice Jackson’s call in April to allow use of the bill prepared by the Hutton committee, but without mandating use of the J-Codes. He said this would allow “greater flexibility” and promote take-up given that, “most, if not all, of the criticisms about the new format bill of costs are aimed at the J-Codes”. 

The CPR website explains: “Parties will be able to file their bill in electronic format, which will assist the court in assessing the bill as any adjustment made by the court, to say the rate or hours claimed, will automatically be carried through to all relevant parts of the bill”.

The revised Practice Direction 51L said the scheme has been amended, “with a view to establishing a mandatory form of bill of costs to apply to all work done after 1 October 2017”. It added that the Civil Procedure Rule Committee will monitor and review the pilot scheme and aim to fix the mandatory form of the new bill of costs at its meeting in May 2017. 

There is a new Precedent AB and the rule provides that, in addition to the existing new bill format, parties can use any other spreadsheet which “reports and aggregates costs based on the phases, tasks, activities and expenses defined in schedule 1 to this practice direction”. It should also report summary totals in a form comparable to Precedent AB, automatically recalculate intermediate and overall summary totals if input data is changed, and contain all calculations and reference formulae in a transparent manner, “so as to make its full functionality available to the court and all other parties”.

This post was posted in ACL e-Bulletin

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