Relief Granted Following Late Filing Of A Costs Budget

Manchester Shipping Ltd v Balfour Shipping Ltd & Anor

Lionel Persey QC sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court granted the Defendants relief from sanctions following the late filing of their costs budget by 13 days. It was accepted that the breach had been “inadvertent” and “understandable” given the Defendants had been relying on an agreed table of procedural steps to be completed before the CCMC, which made no mention of costs budgeting. It was found that the Defendants had “dropped the ball” but that their default was not egregious in the particular circumstances of the case.

“Standing back and looking at all of the circumstances I consider that this is an appropriate case in which to grant relief from sanctions. The breach, although serious in terms of lateness, did not prevent the litigation from being conducted efficiently or at proportionate cost. No inconvenience was caused to the court or to other court users. Against this background, and on the particular facts of this case, it would not in my view be proportionate to deprive the Defendants of the potential to recover their own costs should they ultimately be successful at trial.”