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A Farewell To Lord Justice Jackson

As Lord Justice Jackson retires, Patrick Toal, of Civil and Commercial Costs Lawyers looks at a number of recent important decisions in the key areas of the Jackson Reforms which highlight why now, more than ever, it is important to ensure you instruct the right Costs Consultant to represent you.


Proportionality

Proportionality was one of the major changes to the costs regime introduced by the CPR. However, the old test of proportionality, based on Court of Appeal guidance in Lownds v Home Office [2002] EWCA Civ 365, was viewed by many as ineffective and as such its application was revisited within the 2013 Jackson reforms. Since then there has been a raft of decisions which touch on the application of proportionality.

It would appear that clarity is slowly being obtained, not least in the recent case of May & May v Wavell Group PLC & Bizarri [2016] EWHC B16 (Costs). In the first instance a bill of £208,000.00 was reduced to £35,000.00 plus VAT, applying the test on a global basis. The decision was appealed.

On appeal the assessed costs were increased to £75,000.00 plus VAT. Whilst of interest, the value of the award is not the important part of the judgment. Having considered the various strands of CPR 44.3(5), in particular looking at the generality of proceedings, HHJ Dight determined that the Costs Judge had misinterpreted and misapplied the new proportionality test.

 

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