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Broad brush or item by item?

GSK Project Management Ltd v QPR [2015] 4 Costs LR 729 Stuart-Smith J

“…most costs budgeting reviews can and should be carried out quickly and with the application of a fairly broad brush. Only exceptionally will it be appropriate or necessary to go through a Precedent H with a fine tooth-comb…”

Bloomberg v Sandberg [2016] EWHC 4881 (TCC) Mr Acton Davis QC

“In deference to the detailed arguments advance before me and the sums claimed in the costs budget, I considered it appropriate to reserve judgment and to apply a relatively fine tooth- comb….. As I conceive my task, it is to consider proportionality in terms not only of the volume of hours claimed, but also by the total sum which the claimant hopes to recover from either or both defendants after judgment in respect of each phase…”

“Pre-action costs. I would not be prepared to accept a figure of more than £120,000 as a reasonable sum for pre-action costs. I would not expect counsel to be involved to the extent that they have been at such an early stage. It will be for the costs judge on any assessment take account as he thinks fit of my view.”

Wright v Rowland [2016] 5 Costs LO 713 Flaux J

Where the court cannot decide those elements in the budget which can be approved and those that cannot, it will be a matter for the costs judge on detailed assessment to make the appropriate allowances. This may occur in a case where one party contends that the action is straightforward and the other that it is complex and the court cannot decide which is correct. Here, witness statements, expert evidence and the Pre-Trial Review would be budgeted.  Trial preparation, trial, ADR and contingencies would be for detailed assessment. Order accordingly.

Marks and Spencer plc v Asda Stores Ltd [2016] 5 Costs LR 837 HHJ Hacon

A starting point when assessing the proportionality of costs in costs budgeting is to compare the costs budget and the value of the claim. However, where value significantly resides in the benefit of the claimant of an injunction being granted, it is difficult to assess that value with any degree of certainty. Accordingly, as the starting approach of comparing the costs budget with the value of the claim in those circumstances would be extremely difficult to apply, it is necessary to look at the other matters set out in CPR 44.4 (3), such as the complexity of the litigation, the importance of the matter to the parties and the sort of costs incurred generally by litigants in the Patents Court.

Agents’ Mutual Ltd v Gascoigne Halman Ltd [2016] 5 Costs LR 893 Roth J

Whilst the filing of monthly costs schedules would be excessive and burdensome in the Competition Appeal Tribunal, a full regime of costs management by analogy in part 3 of the CPR would apply. Accordingly, the parties would be required to serve a schedule in the form of Precedent H together with a budget report, and there would be a costs management hearing, unless the parties could deal with the budgets using written submissions.

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