Budgets, they are a changin’ (2)

The Guidance Note on Precedent H identifies, inter alia, where within a budget various items of work, in so far as they are required by the circumstances of the case, should be included. Highlighting the changes from the previous guidance:

  • Amendments to statements of case now fall into the Issue/statement of case phase (and should no longer be included in the contingent costs section of the budget)
  • Any further CMC that is built into the proposed directions order should now be included in the CMC phase
  • Counsel’s brief fee now falls within the Trial Preparation phase (and not, as formerly, in the Trial phase). Counsel’s trial refreshers remain in the Trial phase, as before
  • Mediation is now included in the ADR/Settlement phase (mediation should no longer be included as a contingency). Likewise, approval of settlement (if required).

The Guidance Note also sets out the recent change to Paragraph 7.4 of Practice Direction 3E (considered in September) which moves the line between incurred and budgeted costs, formerly drawn on the date of the budget, now drawn up to and including the date of the first costs management hearing/order. Budgeted costs are now all costs to be incurred after the date of the first costs management hearing/order.

The Guidance Note also adds a short statement of principle, not included in the previous iteration, that estimated costs may have to be justified at the CCMC along with the grade of fee earner doing the work.