On appeal against decisions made in the course of a detailed assessment in the Senior Courts Costs Office Mrs Justice Yip found (amongst other things) that the Deputy Master had been wrong to go behind the strict wording of the order for costs in order to give effect to what she believed the maker of the order had intended, rather than to what it actually said.
Master McCloud exercised her discretion and declined to award the claimant a 10% ‘additional amount’ under CPR 36.17(4) on grounds that it would be disproportionate and unjust to do so where the claimant had beaten its own offer by just £7,000 on a bill assessed at £431,813.05.
Master Nagalingam directs a claimant to redraw his bill of costs of almost £1m in phases to comply with the requirements of CPR 47 PD 5.8(8). The claimant had argued that due to considerable developments in the case, the case managing court had accepted that updated costs budgets were necessary and these had duly been prepared and served. However, the revised budgets did not reach the stage of a costs management hearing and were never approved. Notwithstanding, the claimant argued, as the revised budgets were ordered by the Court the initial approved budget was deemed to be superseded, there was therefore no approved budget in place and CPR 47 PD 5.8(8) did not apply. Thus a phased bill of costs was not required. The Master disagreed.
Master Leonard considers the extent to which a receiving party can recover the costs of attending an inquest in circumstances where an admission of liability is made prior to it taking place.
Master Rowley becomes the latest costs judge to tackle the meaning of ‘good reason to depart’ from an approved costs budget on detailed assessment, specifically in relation to hourly rates and valuation of claim.
Carr J: “On a detailed assessment on a standard basis, the costs judge is bound by the agreed or approved cost budget, unless there is a good reason to depart from it.”
A Costs Officer conducting a detailed assessment on a standard basis was not precluded from considering whether the claimants’ costs should be limited to those recoverable under stages 1 and 2 of the Pre-Action RTA Protocol where there was a consent order in which the defendant agreed to pay the claimants reasonable costs.