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The impossible rise of damages-based agreements

Expectations that costs budgeting will encourage damages-based agreements are unrealistic, says Kerry Underwood

31 May 2013

District Judge Monty Trent, ?speaking at last month's SJ Live conference, asked the question: ?"Is it time to suggest the unthinkable and move away from hourly billing to ?fixed-cost pricing?"

Yes, is the short answer and lawyers ?have already done that in virtually all ?non-contentious areas, such as conveyancing, wills, powers of attorney, contract-drafting etc.

DJ Trent also said: "New retainer ?models such as DBAs should also work more efficiently now that we have ?costs budgeting."

The problem in litigation is not with the lawyers but with the Civil Procedure Rules and the judges who always, but always, assess recoverable costs on the basis of the amount of work done and the level of fee-earner, ...

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