In this Christmas Cracker of a case, it was held that the fact that a particular expenditure is not specifically approved by the Court, does not prevent the recovery of that cost as long as the costs of the phase are not exceeded.
A DDJ in a costs management decision stated that “£120,000 is allowed in respect of the Claimant’s Trial phase and instruction of leading Counsel is not approved”. However, the High Court held that the comment didn’t prevent the Claimant recovering costs in relation to leading Counsel stating “the total budget fixed by DDJ Pescod was £120,000 for the claimant’s trial phase and it is up to the claimant whether it spends all of that on junior counsel or indeed spends all of it on leading counsel. If they succeed in obtaining a costs order, they can expect to receive £120,000 for the trial phase…. The words which the DDJ added… in his order are not intended to limit recoverability below the £120,000… but are intended to explain why the figure…has been approved rather than the…figure sought of £210,000; and that is because the DDJ was not satisfied it was appropriate to employ leading counsel.”
The claim reiterated the point that specific elements of a budget will not be approved and it is the overall figure allowed that is important.
The full judgement can be read here
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