CPR 3: The Court’s Case Management Powers

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What are the Civil Procedure Rules?

The Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) are a set of stipulations that have been devised to ensure that the Court handles matters fairly and justly, and also to outline expected procedure.

There are procedure rules for all types of cases; however, the CPR only relates to civil matters.

What is CPR 3?

Civil Procedure Rule 3 is a section within the CPR that highlights the Court’s case management powers. Case management relates to a multitude of different aspects within a matter; therefore, this area of the Civil Procedure Rules is quite extensive.

What Does CPR 3 Outline?

Within the rules, the Court has ‘general powers of management’ (3.1) such as the adjournment or bringing forward of a meeting, requiring a party or their legal representative to attend court, exclusion of issues from consideration or the dismissal or judgment on a claim after a decision on a preliminary case.

Under CPR 3.1 (8) “The court may contact the parties from time to time in order to monitor compliance with directions. The parties must respond promptly to any such enquiries from the court.”

Furthermore, there are more specific rules within CPR 3 which relate to:

· Cases when at least one party is unrepresented (3.1A). Under 3.1A (4), “The court must adopt such procedure at any hearing as it considers appropriate to further the overriding objective.”

· Cases where a step is to be taken by a Court Officer (3.2)

· The Court’s power to make a court order of its own initiative (3.3)

· The Court’s power to strike out a case (3.4)

· Judgment without trial after striking out (3.5)

· Judgment without trial after striking out a claim in the CCMC (3.5A)

· Setting aside a judgment entered after striking out (3.6)

· Sanctions for non-payment of certain fees by the Claimant (3.7)

· Sanctions for non-payment of the trial fee by the Claimant (3.7A1)

· Sanctions for non-payment of certain fees by the Defendant (3.7A)

· Sanctions for non-payment of the trial fee by the Defendant, where proceedings continue on the counterclaim alone. (3.7AA)

· Sanctions for dishonouring cheque (3.7B)

· Sanctions which have effect unless the defaulting party obtains relief (3.8).

· Relief from sanctions (3.9)

· The general power of the Court to rectify matters where there has been an error of procedure such as a failure to comply with a rule or practice direction (3.10)

· The power of the Court to make civil restraint orders (3.11)

Moreover, Part 2 of CPR 3 relates to Costs Management and Cost Orders. More specifically, the titles for the rules are:

· Application of this section and the purpose of costs management (3.12)

· Filing and exchanging budgets and budget discussion reports (3.13)

· Failure to file a Budget (3.14)


· Costs management conferences (3.16)

· Court to have regard to budgets and to take account of costs (3.17)

· Assessing costs on the standard basis where a costs management order has been made (3.18)

The final part of CPR 3 encloses rules that relate to costs capping and costs orders. The titles for these rules are:

· Rules for costs capping orders – general rules, such as the omission of costs, e.g. detailed assessment costs (3.19)

· Rules for applications for costs capping orders (3.20)

· Rules for applications to vary a costs capping order (3.21)

All of the aforementioned topics relate to rules within CPR 3. Within the official procedure rules, the details are much more extensive; however, the above information provides a brief overview of the topics included in Civil Procedure Rules 3.

CPR 3 in Action: Recent Decisions

Within Court proceedings, it is important to be organised to ensure that documents are filed on time. CPR 3.9 outlines details regarding relief from sanctions, and 3.14 highlights information regarding failure to file a Budget. The test to apply in respect of whether relief will be granted is dealt with under the Denton Test set by the Court of Appeal. Both of the aforementioned topics are relevant in the BMCE Bank International PLC v Phoenix Commodities PVT LTD & Anor [2018] EWHC 3380 case where relief from sanctions was not granted. This was a matter in which the Defendant had filed the Costs Budget 14 days late. The Hon Mr Justice Bryan took the view, by referring to CPR 3.14, that it would be “quite inappropriate to give sanctions on the facts from the case.” Alongside CPR 3.14, the Judge used the background facts of the case to determine the judgement in this matter.

In addition, the case of Stephen Hawking and Others V Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and National Health Service Commissioning Board highlighted how the Court could grant a costs capping order, in line with CPR 3.19-21. Within this matter, the Claimants disputed that as a public-spirited judicial review, they should not be exposed to open-ended adverse costs. In order to grant a costs capping Order, the Court must follow the aforementioned sections of the Civil Procedure Rules. Also, they must be satisfied that the matter passes the test set out in the CJCA 2015. By considering the background of this matter and noting that the Claimant’s had raised funds via Crowdfunding, the Judge ordered a costs capping order of £80,000 in respect of each of the two Defendant’s costs and a reciprocal cap of £115,000 for the Claimant’s costs. Similarly to in the first case, the Judge was able to rely on Civil Procedure Rules, and other stipulations set out to ensure justice in the matter.

How Can ARC Costs Assist in Matters Relating to CPR 3?

At ARC Costs, our team of expert Costs Draftsmen and Costs Lawyers are able to assist in a variety of matters which may involve aspects of CPR 3.

Our team of Costs Draftsmen are able to prepare a Costs Budget to be filed in line with CPR 3. When preparing this document, the team pride themselves on their average recovery of 81% of the value of the Costs Budgets drafted as achieved by our Costs Negotiators.

Furthermore, in the event you default on any deadline to engage in costs budgeting, our experienced team are available to advise on any applicable sanction, and the prospects of applying for relief.

In relation to costs capping orders, our Costs Lawyers are able to pursue this with the Court. In matters which we deem a cost capping order relevant, we will work tirelessly to ensure that the party is not faced with excessive open-ended adverse costs.

Through our team’s combination of skills and expertise, we have confidence that we can provide you with outstanding service across a multitude of matters.

We can be contacted by email at info@arccosts.co.uk, or by telephone on 01204 397302. For more information on legal costs, please find out more about our speciality areas of expertise and our services on our legal costs page.

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