Given that Just Costs are instructed on thousands of files each year, we anticipated advocating at CMC’s every other day.
Not the case.
CMC’s are generally being listed for the end of 2013 and in one exceptional case, April 2014. Sometimes up to 6 months after the Court Ordered (CPR 3.13 – unless the Court Orders otherwise, budgets are to be exchanged 7 days before the first CMC) budgets be filed and served.
They say a week in politics is a long time, 6 months in litigation is a lifetime. I was instructed to draft a budget back in April on a brain injury case (my budget circa £590k), the CMC was listed for September, the case settled in May. The Defendant has to pay for the cost of not only drafting their own budget (£70k) but also the cost of my excellent and voluminous budget. Plus the costs of drafting a Bill of Costs which bears no resemblance to the format of the budget (a working party is expected to report back on the correct format of Bills in Spring 2014).
Driving the cost of litigation down LJ Jackson? Not when Courts are underfunded, improperly trained and fit to bursting. For the next two years at least, costs are increasing. Insurance companies (who lobbied the Conservative government so expensively) – be careful what you wish for.