Amendments to a costs budget arising from Covid-19

The Court appears to have adapted quite well to the sudden changes imposed on us all when the Government enforced ‘lockdown’ back in March and many Costs Management Hearings and trials have proceeded, albeit remotely.  But what does this mean for the many cases that have been costs managed to date on the assumption that trials will go ahead in person?

It is still too early to know what effect Covid-19 will have on costs budgeted cases which are set for trial and this is a concern.  The costs of attending a virtual trial may be significant, particularly if the trial takes longer than initially anticipated or if specific IT assistance and/or software is required.

As a result of Covid-19 it may become necessary to amend your costs budget if you have encountered significant delays obtaining expert evidence which has resulted in the need to vacate the trial or amendments may be required to provide for a remote trial.

I would therefore advise all Client’s to keep a close eye on their costs as they approach the trial and if it is likely that the budget will be exceeded, make urgent steps to go through the correct procedures to amend the budget, as it is usually better doing this before the event rather than after it.  Liaise with the Defendant in the first instance and then prepare and file an immediate Application to revise the budget pursuant to CPR PD 3E, 7.6 as a result of the significant case development.

From the 1 October 2020, Practice Direction 3E will be amended and a Precedent T will be introduced, which is to be used in the event of a variation of a budget pursuant to CPR rule 3.15A.  We will address the introduction of the Precedent T and its implications in a separate blog in the near future.

Should you require any assistance with regards to costs budgeting, please do not hesitate to contact the Litigation Team here at Paramount Legal Costs.

 

Emma Robson, Costs Lawyer

Direct Dial: 01228 815392

Email: [email protected]

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