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The pervasive reach of the new 'global basis' test

What is the point of cost budgeting if judges are also allowed to reduce agreed recoverable costs at the detailed assessment stage on completion of the case, asks Simon Gibbs

25 July 2012

With implementation of Lord Justice Jackson’s costs reforms in full flow, we are now certain of two things. Firstly, there will be a new test for proportionality. Secondly, costs management will be introduced for most multi-track cases. What is less clear is how these two concepts will work together.

The idea of costs management is straightforward. Each party will prepare a budget of their anticipated legal costs. The court will consider the budgets and adjust as necessary. At the conclusion of the litigation, when assessing costs on a standard basis, the court will have regard to the receiving party’s last approved or agreed budget for each phase of the proceedings and will not depart from such approved or agreed budget unless satisfied that there is good reason to do so.
In practical terms this will mean the court will consider, for example, whether e-disclosure is an appropriate step in the litigation. If so,...

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