Recovering costs in respect of MDT Meetings

Costs of attending MDT meetings and liaising with case managers and deputies are recoverable in principle following the appeal in Hadley v Przybylo

The original decision in Hadley v Przybylo was reported last year and arose from a costs budgeting dispute. Master McCloud found that the costs of a fee earner attending rehabilitation case management meetings was not progressive to the litigation and did not fall within the notion of ‘costs’. She did, however, give ‘leapfrog’ permission to appeal, acknowledging that there was no authority on the issue.

The decision was indeed appealed and the Court of Appeal considered whether such costs are recoverable in principle and, if so, what the limits on that recoverability.

The resulting decision was that the costs of attending rehabilitation case management meetings and liaising with case managers and deputies are recoverable in principle as items of costs subject to the test of reasonableness and proportionality. The correct test for recoverability is as per Re Gibsons Settlements Trusts which requires the work to be of use and service in the action, relevant to an issue, and attributable to the Defendant’s conduct.

The judgment also helpfully confirms that the appropriate budget phase is ‘Issue / Statements of Case’ as none of the phases are an obvious fit (para 25). There was, however, no suggestion that the descriptions be altered to reflect this (para 26).

The full judgment can be found here.

If you have any questions regarding this summary case law please contact Helen Spalding here.

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