We are all aware of the sanctions and risks when it comes to failing to file a Costs Budget, but what about a Precedent R Discussion Report?
CPR 3.13(2) states that “in the event that a party files and exchanges a budget under paragraph (1), all other parties, not being litigants in person, must file an agreed budget discussion report no later than 7 days before the first case management conference”.
So we know what is required, but there is no express sanction for failure to comply. In Alexandra Handy v Dr Mohammed Azhar Aslam & Linia Limited, this precise scenario occurred. The Claimant filed a Costs Budget on 10 November 2021 totalling £272,764.71, and an updated Costs Budget was filed on 26 November 2021 in the sum of £298,208.90. The Second Defendant had not filed a Precedent R in relation to the original Costs Budget as the Claimant had indicated their intention to file and serve an updated Costs Budget 14 days prior to the CCMC. However, a Precedent R had not been prepared as it was their position that there had been insufficient time to do so.
DDJ O’Connell did not agree with the Second Defendant’s approach, and stated that “…if there is no objection, no discussion report has been filed; that I am going to allow that budget as it has now been served in the sum of £298,208.90”.
This seems like a sensible approach, as if there are no objections within the required time frame, then why should they be allowed at the CCMC?
For any further information, please do not hesitate to contact the writer, Tom Brocklebank, here.