The Civil Procedure Rules Committee has amended the rules to include a new rule 3.13(2), in the event that a party files and exchanges a budget, all other parties will have to file an agreed budget discussion report which set out the agreed and disputed areas for each phase and a brief summary of the grounds of dispute – something many courts have been ordering for some time. The CPRC have described this as their “least worst option”!
The debate over hourly rates!
The Practice Direction is to be amended regarding hourly rates, it is confirmed that they will not be set and puts an end to this much debated area – “The making of a costs management order under part 3.15 concerns the totals allowed for each phase of the budget. It is not the role of the court in the cost management hearing to fix or approve the hourly rates claimed in the budget. The underlying detail in the budget for each phase used by the party to calculate the totals claimed is provided for reference purposes only to assist the court in fixing a budget.”
That said, consideration will have to be given to the hourly rate, how can the claim be quantified without an hourly rate? I agree with not setting the hourly rate and when I negotiate I don’t agree to the setting of the hourly rate, however, I may agree to the hourly rate for quantification purposes. My aim is not to have the rate set for the purposes of detailed assessment, unless of course there is no reason for the hourly rate to be disputed.