Jackson in Action – case law
In our regular monthly round up of cases we look at the effects of the changes to the Civil Procedure Rules under the Jackson Reforms:
Costs management/detailed assessment: In Merrix v Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (2016) the court considered to what extent costs budgeting fettered the discretion on the judge hearing the detailed assessment. The defendant had argued that regardless of any approved or agreed costs budget, it was mandatory under the terms of Part 47 of the CPR for the judge at detailed assessment to consider both incurred and estimated costs and that not to do so flew in the face of Parts 44 and 47 of the CPR. District Judge Lumb, sitting as a Regional Costs Judge in the Queen’s Bench Division concluded that the set budget should only be exceeded in exceptional circumstances, but otherwise the budget was an “available fund considered to be within the reasonable range of proportionate costs”. In arriving at his conclusion, DJ Lumb stated that the Court of Appeal in their judgment in SARPD Oil International Ltd v Addax (2016) did not state that a costs budget served to fix the amount allowed at detailed assessment. 13/10/16
The following case, whilst not a relief from sanctions application per se, demonstrates the court’s approach to the test in Denton:
Expert evidence/failure to serve witness evidence in time: In Stoffell v De Verteuil (2016) the claimant sought leave to rely upon further expert evidence from two of her experts. The application was heard on 30 August 2016, with the trial window starting on 24 October 2016. The experts were being asked to comment upon the effectiveness of protective trousers worn by the claimant when she came off of a motorbike. The plastic surgeon and the reconstruction expert had both produced supplemental reports date 22 June and 23 July respectively. Despite claimant’s counsel conceding that the application came late in the day, HHJ McKenna, sitting in the Queen’s Bench Division, allowed the evidence, preferring to approach the application on the basis of Part 35 of the CPR, rather than “..a Denton type relief from sanction application”. The Judge did not accept that by allowing the evidence the defendant was prejudiced. 30/8/16
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This information is intended as a general discussion surrounding the topics covered and is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. DWF is not responsible for any activity undertaken based on this information.