8 August 2014 by

Sledgehammers and nuts…

No one wants to go to court, but sadly it is sometimes an unavoidable necessity.  If you are unable to resolve a dispute through negotiation, proceedings may be your only option…and that could be costly if you don’t carefully plan the litigation project you are about to embark on.

The court has always expected the parties to a dispute to consider the likely costs of bringing or defending a claim at the outset. However, in recent years, it has become apparent that this requirement has been largely ignored and that massive costs that are disproportionate to the issues in dispute have been racked up with little thought.

In response costs budgets have been introduced to try and get the parties to treat court proceedings like any other commercial project and to encourage better management of the spend allocated to it.

Where the sum in dispute is up to £10 million the parties are required to prepare costs budgets at an early stage.  Those budgets set limits on the costs recoverable from the other side in the event they are successful.

The parties are given an opportunity to agree the costs budgets between themselves, but if that is not possible the court will impose budgets.  This could result in the starting point for recoverability being much less than the costs actually incurred.   So getting the budget right is vital.

The rules relating to the recoverability of costs are a key factor that should be considered before getting involved in a piece of litigation. When the court is assessing costs at the conclusion of a matter, it will only allow costs which are proportionate and will disallow any disproportionate costs even if they were reasonably incurred.  When considering whether the costs are proportionate the court will have regard to: the amounts being disputed; the complexity of the litigation; the conduct of the parties and any other factors the court deems relevant.

The upshot is that even if you are successful at court, you could end up being out of pocket if you haven’t given some thought to proportionality.

We have seen a significant increase in new clients who simply cannot justify instructing their usual lawyers because the costs they charge will not be proportionate or recoverable.  Our team of litigation specialists have a proven track record of working with a wide range of businesses to resolve disputes in a proportionate and cost effective manner.

Want to find out more? Contact Tom Lawrence 020 7288 4769 tomlawrence@boltburdon.co.uk

24 July 2014 by Louise Dawson

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The most common grumbles when buying or selling a house are still “why is it taking so long?” and “why […]

31 July 2014 by

It’s no longer a foregone conclusion, so get your mortgage sorted NOW!

To prevent a return to irresponsible lending, the Financial Conduct Authority has introduced new rules known as the ‘Mortgage Market Review’. […]

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