The CPRC have released minutes of their latest meeting. The committee had been asked to consider proposals and options relating to revisions to CPR r3.15 and PD 3E.
Discussions centred around whether the no retrospective costs budgeting rule applies and how it works within the budget variation. It was mooted that a rule change which sets out the factors that the court should take into account may be appropriate. Proposals were also made regarding a new draft precedent T (in excel format), its intention being to set out the particulars of the proposed budget variation.
It was recognised that there were varying practices currently in play when applying to revise a budget, and because of that it was proposed that a solution would be to codify the procedure.
The committee remained alive to the fact that any rule change should not open up parties to attempt to budget repair. More detail regarding the importance of revising the budget can be found in our previous blog here.
The subjective topic of what is a ‘”significant development” was discussed. Currently PD3E paragraph 7.6 provides that budget variations are warranted if a significant development occurs. It was considered critical that the significant development was explained early in the process to avoid any attempt to budget repair.
The committee agreed the Precedent T in principle. It was agreed to re-draft their proposals which cater for ‘retrospective costs budgeting’. We should also see some further guidance which will add clarity between ‘budget variations’ and ‘ood reason to depart from the budget’.
Sue Fox is a Senior Associate and the Head of the Costs Management team in the Costs and Litigation Funding Department at Clarion Solicitors. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and 0113 336 3389, or the Clarion Costs Team on 0113 246 0622.