CPR 29: Multi- Track Claims Costs

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PR 29 of the Civil Procedure Rules consists of general provisions about management of cases allocated to the multi-track. 

 

What are CPR 29 Multi-Track Claims?

Multi-Track cases are heard in the County Court or High Court and the costs limits that apply to the Small Claims Track and Fast Track do not apply to the Multi-Track.

Complex and high value cases, typically with a value in excess with £25,000 are usually allocated to the Multi Track. Complex cases may also refer to matters whereby it is expected that significant expert/lay evidence may be required at Trial, which would result in a final hearing length of in excess of 1 day. As a result, Courts can allocate a low-value claim to the Multi-Track on complexity alone.

On allocating a claim to the multi-track, the court may give directions without a hearing including fixing a trial date or a period in which the trial will take place.

 

CPR 29: Multi Track Claims Costs

Unlike Small Claims and Fast Track matters, standard costs apply to all Multi-Track cases and the party who loses at Court (Paying Party) generally pays the winner’s costs, unless otherwise stated within the Costs Order.

As fixed costs do not apply, the Paying Party must therefore pay all costs incurred on an hourly rate basis, though this does not guarantee that the full amount of a Receiving Party’s costs will be recovered from the other side. However, a larger degree of recoverability of fees is possible compared to fixed costs in Fast Track/Small Claims Track disputes.

As a result of Multi-Track litigation being complex and expensive, costs budgeting is regularly implemented as standard in such litigation, save for in exceptional circumstances.  It is important to ensure that an effective Costs Budget is filed and approved by the Court at any Costs & Case Management Conference (CCMC), as approved anticipated/budgeted costs will be allowed as claimed, so long as the Receiving Party remains within phase limits.  As such, this can drastically increase the recoverability of a party’s costs.

It is also important to consider an effective Part 36 Offer.  If the Receiving Party beats their own Part 36 Offer at Trial, costs will be ordered on an indemnity basis allowing for a higher recovery of costs, and such an order would also allow a Costs Budget to be exceeded.  The normal order for costs is on a standard basis. The Court only allows for the recovery of costs that are reasonable and proportionate to the case on a standard basis. However, the requirement for proportionality is removed under the indemnity basis and any element of doubt as to the costs claim will be decided in favour of the Receiving Party.

 

Multi Track Claims: Detailed Assessment

In order to determine Multi-Track claim costs, the process of detailed assessment should take place.  It is important to note that summary assessment of Multi-Track costs cannot take place.

The first step in this process usually involves the drafting of a of Bill of Costs. Owing to the likely budgeted aspect of the costs, the Bill will have to be in the electronic format.  This document should be prepared by the winning party (Receiving Party) or their representative. It includes the costs which they seek to recover, including the hourly rates, time taken for work carried out on the case, and details of any disbursements such as expert fees and court fees.

Subsequent to this, legal costs negotiations can commence through use of Points of Dispute and Points of Reply. If the paying party is not in agreement with all costs listed within the bill, Points of Dispute should be served on the receiving party within 21 days of receipt of the Bill of Costs.

To negotiate further, Replies to the Points of Dispute should be sent by the receiving party following receipt of the Points of Dispute.

The parties should make efforts to settle the matter out of Court or via ADR; although, a detailed assessment or provisional assessment hearing can be applied for if an agreement cannot be reached. This will be a final hearing in which costs will be assessed and granted by a Costs Judge (subject to any appeal or oral hearing).

 

How can ARC Costs assist with CPR 29 Multi-Track Claims?

ARC Costs are a team of highly experienced Law Costs Draftsmen and Costs Lawyers who can assist in any type of claim allocated to the Multi Track as well as other costs disputes.  

Our costs team can provide expert legal advice and assist in the preparation and negotiation of Costs Budgets and Bills of Costs. We ensure all our Bills are detailed and accurate and reflect the maximum reasonable recoverability of your costs.

Our Costs Lawyers are authorised and regulated by the CLSB and can therefore provide representation at Costs and Case Management Conferences as well as at Detailed Assessment Hearings. 

Should you wish to discuss your costs query with us, you may contact us on 01204 397302 or email one of the team at info@arccosts.co.uk. Alternatively, you may complete our online enquiry form and we will contact you same day.

 

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