The Damages Claim Portal

I have recently received a number of queries regarding the Damages Claim Portal (DCP) and the impact on costs management.  This is an online portal used by legal representatives to file and serve key documents, and Practice Directions 51ZB gives us some information about this.

I am going to focus on the impact on costs management.

The Defendant is to submit their Defence and Directions Questionnaire at the same time as per Section 6.5, and then Section 7 deals with Initial Case Management.  Section 7.5 states:

In those claims to which the provisions of Section II of CPR Part 3 and Practice Direction 3D apply, CPR 3.13(1)(a) is disapplied and all parties except litigants in person must file and exchange budgets in accordance with CPR 3.13(1)(b), namely not later than 21 days before the first case management conference.”

So if CPR 3 and PD 3D apply to your case, then CPR 3.13(1)(a) is disapplied if the case is dealt with via the DCP.  This section of the CPR relates to filing and exchanging of your Costs Budget with the Directions Questionnaire, so this no longer applies if the claim is via the DCP.  In its place, CPR 3.13(1)(b) applies and this states:

in any other case, not later than 21 days before the first case management conference”.

Therefore, regardless of value on the Claim Form, if the case is dealt with under the DCP, then CPR 3.13(1)(b) applies, and the Costs Budget is then to be filed and exchanged not later than 21 days before the first case management conference.

Should you wish to discuss this, or any other legal costs matters, please do not hesitate to contact the writer Tom Brocklebank here.

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