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Cost budgeting – will the courts take a hard or a soft line?

6 September 2013

Last month the High Court ruled that Andrew Mitchell would have his legal spend restricted to court costs only in his defamation case arising from the ‘plebgate’ scandal against The Sun following his solicitor’s failure to file a cost budget within the time limits required.

Master McLeod stated: “budgeting is something which all solicitors by now ought to know is intended to be integral to the process from the start, and it ought not to be especially onerous to prepare a final budget for a CMC even at relatively short notice if proper planning has been done.”

A decision has been made this week to leapfrog the case to the Court of Appeal so that a swift decision can be made from the team of Court of Appeal judges specifically tasked with deciding cases arising out of the Jackson reforms. The case will provide valuable guidance as to whether there is judicial support at a high level for a hard line approach to case and cost management.

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