This was a decision regarding alleged mis-certification of a costs budget. The case bore similarities to the facts in Tucker v Griffiths and Hampshire University Hospitals NHS Trust, another decision of Master Rowley. Both parties were critical of Master Rowley’s decision in Tucker, the defendant complaining that it was too lenient and the claimant contending that it had been too harsh as a finding of misconduct under CPR 44.11 had not been warranted on the facts.
This was a decision of Deputy Master Friston (author of Friston on Costs) in the Senior Courts Costs Office. Having determined that the Claimant had made and beaten a valid Part 36 Offer solely in relation to hourly rates the Master concluded that it would be unjust to award them an additional 10% uplift on the assessed profit costs.
Mr Justice Warby comments on hourly rates and the appropriate use of partner time in the course of setting costs budgets
Master Rowley tackles a number preliminary points in a detailed assessment arising from a complex clinical negligence claim, including an alleged mis-certification of the claimant’s budget giving rise to an application under CPR 44.11, level of success fee and hourly rates and ‘good reason to depart’.
On a detailed assessment of costs a reduction in hourly rates of the incurred costs is not a ‘good reason’ to depart from the budget in respect of the budgeted (future) costs.
The master had been entitled to take into account the claimant’s age and the urgency of his case when deciding that it had been reasonable for him to instruct solicitors in central London in respect of his personal injury claim against the Ministry of Defence.