FAMILY COSTS – CONFUSION ON HAGUE CONVENTION We report here on a recent family case heard in the Court of Appeal before Richards LJ where once again, an Appeal Court was rather unsparing in its criticism of the Judge below and the advocate who appeared in the lower court. The case is B v B [2015] EWCA Civ 1166 and concerns proceedings relating to custody of 2 boys. There had been prolonged litigation between the mother and father, but at the relevant time, the boys were living with their father. In accordance with agreed arrangements, the mother took them on holidays to her home in Germany, but then did not return them as required. The father commenced 2 separate sets of proceedings, the 1st

New Format Bill of Costs – Implementation currently on hold

New Format Bill of Costs – Implementation currently on hold Since publication of the Jackson Report, one of the most burning issues discussed amongst practitioners and at Professional Development Conferences has been the manner in which Bills of Costs have traditionally been prepared, prompting the committee previously chaired by Jeremy Morgan QC, and now by Alexander Hutton QC, to recommend the introduction of so-called “J-Codes”. These codes were intended to revolutionise the preparation of Bills of Costs, a process considered by some to be unnecessarily time-consuming and expensive, replacing the traditional item by item costing with an entirely revised time recording system, computerised

Part 8 Costs – Part of Assessment Costs?

Part 8 Costs – Part of Assessment Costs? The wording of the rules in relation to the recoverable costs of Provisional Assessment continue to cause some controversy. Practitioners may recall that when the rules were initially introduced, it was not clear as to the scope of the costs which were included. There were a number of issues, but one of them was whether the costs of checking and preparing the Bill should be included within the cap. This arose due to the wording of the Rules which prohibited inclusion within a Bill of Costs of any costs of assessment save for the costs of preparing and checking the Bill. By inference therefore, those costs must have been costs of the assessment process

Retrospective success fees allowed on Appeal

Retrospective success fees allowed on Appeal Whilst it is too late now to worry about the drafting of CFA’s which will contain a recoverable success fee, there are still many cases out there upon which assessment of success fees will still be required. One particular aspect which has caused some trouble in the past has raised its head again in the decision of the High Court in Ghising v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015} EWHC 3706(QB) – the question of recoverability of retrospective success fees.. Following the decision in Birmingham City Counsel v Forde [2009] EWHC 12 (QB) many practitioners took advantage of the ability to claim a success fee on costs incurred prior to entr

The Court bares its teeth – Proportionality trumps necessity

The Court bares its teeth – Proportionality trumps necessity There has been much debate as to how the revised proportionality test would be applied in practice. Questions were raised in many seminars where Costs Judges were speaking and it is probably fair to say that the fog didn’t really become much clearer. However, 18 months on, in the recent case of Hobbs v Guy’s and Saint Thomas NHS Foundation Trust [2015] EWHC B20 (Costs), Master O’Hare gave his interpretation and it is stark indeed. The object of the Jackson reforms was, of course, to bring fixed costs to the Fast-track and meaningful proportionality to Multi-track claims. Hobbs is the latest attempt in a very long list to demonstrat


PART 36 COSTS CONSEQUENCES – NOT A BLACK AND WHITE ISSUE When, following judgment at Trial, a Part 36 offer comes into play, perhaps understandably, the main focus is on whether the offeree has obtained a judgment “more advantageous” than the offer. However, in the recently published decision in Yentob v MGN Ltd [2015] EWCA Civ 1292 the Court of Appeal dealt with the second phase of consideration required by the rules, namely whether the natural consequences should not apply if it would be unjust. We are dealing here with the particular provisions of CPR 36.17. By subsection (3) where a Claimant fails to obtain a judgment which is more advantageous than the Part 36 offer the Court must order

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