“Costs Budgeting is essential”, hails LJ Jackson.
Jackson told a London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association event last night that:
“Costs budgeting is an essential element of any programme to make the costs of litigation proportionate”, and that:
‘Litigation is a commercial enterprise.’ He added ‘there are no other commercial projects which people enter without a budget” and that “some form of costs management or costs budgeting is essential.’ This echoes comments he made in his 2009 final report.
In Jackson’s final report in 2009 he said “Any measures to control the costs of a project are themselves a source of some expense. Quantity surveyors have to be paid professional fees for their services in monitoring the costs of a construction project and determining what amounts are payable at each stage or what sums are due in respect of variations. But no-one suggests that quantity surveyors should be dispensed with, in order to “save” the costs of employing them. The costs of any multi-track case can be substantial, ranging from tens of thousands of pounds to tens of millions of pounds. In other words, the costs of every multi-track case, unless it settles early, are comparable to at least the costs of a small building project and sometimes they are comparable to the costs of a major building project. There is precisely the same need to control the costs of litigation as there is need to control the costs of any other project”.
After 7 years since his report was written, 1 pilot scheme and the 3 year practical application of the amended Civil Procedure Rules, Jackson’s opinion on both the effect of costs management and the costs of the same, remains constant. Costs Management works and the costs of the same are a sensible part of the ‘project’.
Please follow this link to the Law Society Gazette’s article.
Sue Fox is the Head of Costs Budgeting in the Costs and Litigation Funding department at Clarion Solicitors. You can contact her at email@example.com and 0113 336 3389, or the Clarion Costs Team on 0113 246 0622.