What about costs?
It is also important not to forget the significance of the overriding objective and its direct relevance to costs management. The management of costs is important to ensure that they are managed “proactively” and “proportionately” throughout a case. CPR Rules 1.1(1) and 1.1(2) both specifically refer to costs, the importance of ensuring that cases are dealt with at proportionate cost and even makes specific reference to saving expense.
The mechanisms used by the Court to manage costs is the Costs Budget, Budget Discussion Report and thereafter, Costs Management Orders. Costs Budgets and Budget Discussion Reports are usually prepared, exchanged, with agreement between the parties sought and then discussed at the first hearing, the Costs and Case Management Conference. A Costs Management Order would usually follow and be contained within the Order flowing from such hearing.
The preparation of a costs budget and budget discussion report is mandatory for every represented party to Part 7 proceedings, save for Part 7 multi-track claims where the money claimed is equal to or more than £10million, a monetary or non-monetary claim which is not fully quantified but the claim form contains a statement that the claim is valued at £10million or more, claims brought by or on behalf of a person under the age of 18, proceedings that are subject to fixed or scale costs and proceedings on the shorter trial scheme (within the Business & Property Court) (unless agreed between the parties). However, beware, there are still caveats to this rule and ultimately, it comes down to the fact that costs management is somewhat at the discretion of the court. As examples of this fact, the court has the ability to apply costs management to a personal injury or clinical negligence case which has a value of more than £10million and it also has the discretion to disapply costs management in claims brought by individuals with a short life expectancy (5 years or less).
If you are a litigant in person, you are not automatically subject to costs management, but you might be ordered to partake depending on the court or the specific circumstances.
Should you need any advice or assistance relating to proceedings that you are a party to, please contact our commercial litigation team.