Precedent S is intended, as Jackson LJ envisaged, to be completed automatically from electronic records, so ending the current labour-intensive practice of manually preparing bills without reference to existing electronic records.
A full list of phases, tasks and activities appears at Schedule 2 to the Part 47 Practice Direction. Since 2013, practitioners in costs managed cases have been required to aggregate costs information into the 10 phases set by Precedent H. Schedule 2 to the Part 47 Practice Direction recognises five more possible phases: interim applications (provided for by contingencies in precedent H), funding, budgeting, stand-alone costs management conferences and costs assessment.
Each phase includes defined tasks (for example, within the “Initial and Pre-Action Protocol Work” phase, “Factual investigation”). There are 41 tasks in total.
There are 10 activities such as “Appear for/Attend”, “Communicate (with client)” and “Billable travel time”. They are common to all tasks and phases.
The Part 47 Practice Direction does not require that a bill be in the form of Precedent S. It requires that the bill is in spreadsheet format and performs the same essential functions as Precedent S. It should, accordingly, report and aggregate costs based on the phases, tasks, activities and expenses defined in Schedule 2; offer summary totals in a form comparable to Precedent S; allow the user to identify, in chronological order, the detail of all work undertaken in each phase; automatically recalculate intermediate and overall summary totals if input data is changed; and contain all calculations and reference formulae in a transparent manner so as to make its full functionality available to the court and all other parties.