Costs Budget Discussion Reports
How to Prepare and When to File the Precedent R
Costs Budget Discussion Report (Precedent R)
When you have prepared, filed and served Costs Budgets, it is expected that the parties will prepare their Costs Budget Discussion Report and engage in discussions on costs prior to any Costs and Case Management Conference (CCMC). In many cases, Costs Budgets can be agreed between parties however, some cases remain disputed and require the making of a costs management order at Court.
A genuine attempt should be made to engage in Budget negotiations otherwise there can be consequences, as outlined in our article on the case of Findcharm v Churchill Group where a disingenuous offer was made on the Claimant’s costs.
Budget Discussion Requirements
As part of Budget discussions/negotiations, CPR 3.13(2) requires the parties to exchange Costs Budget Discussion reports atleast 7 days prior to any CCMC.
In April 2019, a new Costs Budget Discussion Report (Precedent R) was introduced. This new Precedent R replaced the previous three columned report.
Precedent R Content
Incurred costs were introduced into the updated Precedent R, allowing the parties and the Court to be able to consider all the total costs together for a particular phase at any CCMC, rather than just the budgeted costs on their own.
The incurred and budgeted costs claimed by a party are now also split into time costs and disbursements. This helps to show some distinction as to how the costs are split between both categories.
Benefits and Drawbacks
One of the main benefits of the changes to the Costs Budget Discussion Report is the inclusion of the incurred costs. This allows a Judge to see the full landscape of costs for each phase, and of the entire costs budgeting process.
The separation of the disbursements and time costs columns for the ‘costs claimed’ and ‘costs offered’ parts also allow the parties to see more clearly how estimated costs are split, and to allow comparison between parties’ Budgets. The greater scrutiny afforded by this separation is beneficial both in raising submissions to contest the costs claimed, and also in justifying how a total phase figure has been reached.
The additional columns added to the Budget Discussion Report however, require more data to be entered thus making the process more time consuming for the user. The included columns for time costs and disbursements could also be considered over-zealous by some. PD 3E 7.3 states that the Court should not complete a detailed assessment in advance. There is a real risk that the enhanced scrutiny could encourage the Court to focus too finely on the individual elements of the Costs Budget.
How Can ARC Costs Help?
The Costs Budget Discussion Report allows for more depth and information to be shown in respect of a summary of the parties’ Costs Budgets however, dealing with this documentation and the associated negotiations can be difficult and time consuming.
At ARC Costs, our team of Costs Draughtsmen and Costs Lawyers are at hand to assist with the preparation and negotiation of any Costs Budgets, as well as providing a full advocacy service at any CCMC. We typically recover in excess of 80% of any Budget we have drafted, whether via negotiation or at a CCMC.
Get in touch via email at email@example.com, by phone on 01204 397302, or contact us on live chat below.
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