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Abuse of the costs budgeting process

Compromise can lead to relatively narrow issues on costs that are limited to significant points of principle, advises Francis Kendall

11 July 2017

Any practical guide for legal professionals managing their costs budget cannot ignore the implications of Findcharm Limited v Churchill Group Limited [2017] EWHC 1108 (TCC). The case has been well reported and involves criticism of an unrealistic defendant Precedent R, a document that has, in my opinion, been one of the success stories of the costs budgeting regime.

Findcharm, if you will excuse the pun, is a charming but damning support for a realistic approach to the use of a Precedent R. It went so far as to infer that the defendant was using the document as a form of game or exploitation of the costs budgeting rules – ‘an abuse of the costs budgeting process’ – by reference to a pleading that was ‘an insurer’s defence straight out of the 1970s’. Despite this poor pleading, which must have been indicative of the defendant’s approach, and perhaps as a result of th...

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