Claimant ordered to revise “eye-watering” budget
DAC Beachcroft (DACB) has obtained an order compelling a claimant to submit a revised costs budget after Mr Justice Baker described the £1m budget as “eye-watering”.
The firm said there was a “lively discussion” during a recent case management conference in Dreams Living Ltd v Allianz Insurance Ltd. It reported that Baker J “was so concerned with the ‘overlawyering’ of projecting 260 hours on witness statements that he said the statements would go straight in the bin as they would not be capable of being trusted”.
He went on to find it “mind-boggling” that £120,000 could be spent dealing with four witness statements and rejected the £160,000 claimed to deal with disclosure.
DACB said: “The case serves as an example of the robust stance that will be taken against what the court described as the ‘eye-watering’ figures submitted within a costs budget. Costs budgets should not be inflated in anticipation of being reduced, but should be submitted in the first instance to reflect what should be reasonably and proportionately anticipated.
“It is another example of how unrealistic budgets will be ignored as they serve no value in assisting the court performing its costs management function.”
Anna Laney from Crown Office Chambers represented the defendant, instructed by Denise Eastlake of DACB and assisted by Costs Lawyer Philip Robotham.
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Still time to respond to CLSB consultation
Members still have time to respond to the Costs Lawyer Standards Board (CLSB) consultation on changes to the practising rules, which were last amended in 2014. The closing date has been extended to 29 March.
Most are mainly administrative in nature, although the CLSB is planning to expand what Costs Lawyers have to disclose to the regulator on applying for or renewing their practising certificate.