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How important is the format of the Statement of Costs? (Changing Climates Ltd v Warmaway Ltd)

In the case of Changing Climates Ltd v Warmaway Ltd [2021] EWHC 3117 (TCC) (06 September 2021), the Court made comments regarding the format of the statement of costs.

The Court had ordered that the Defendant pay the Claimant’s legal costs and that they be summarily assessed. Upon a review of the statement of costs the Judge commented that it had not been prepared in line with the form N260. She considered that this was not a purely formal problem and not a question of form for the sake of it, but that the problem was that the detail provided in the schedule was much harder for the Court to assess and for the Defendant to make detailed submissions.

The Judge considered that the schedule was hopelessly confused and not in the correct format, and consequently did not enable the Court to easily form a view as to what was proportionate. Resultantly, the Judge concluded that all she could do was the best she could, taking a broad-brush approach and looking at the overall costs.

This case highlights the importance of a well prepared statement of costs which follows the Court precedent form N260.

By way of a reminder, the form N260 (please follow this link to the form N260) requires costs to be split between different categories, as follows:

Attendances on the party who the legal representative is acting for

Attendances on the opponent (including negotiations)

Attendances on others

Site inspections

Attendances at hearings

Work done on documents

Counsel’s fees

Court fees

Other disbursements

VAT

It is necessary to breakdown the time spent within the categories between personal attendances, letters/emails out and telephone calls.

Statements of costs for summary assessment can also be produced in line with the forms N260A and N260B, which are outlined in the summary assessment pilot scheme (Practice Direction 51X). This is a voluntary pilot scheme which commenced from 1st of April 2019 and will continue until 31st of March 2022. These forms are model forms of statements of costs, which may be used for summary assessment, while the scheme is in force. The N260A applies when the costs that have been incurred relate to an interim application, whereas the N260B applies when the costs have been incurred up to trial. For further details of the pilot scheme, please follow this link where you will find Practice Direction 51X as well as the forms.

If you require any assistance with your legal costs requirements, or preparation of a statement of costs, please do get in touch with the team on 01733 350 880, or by email mail@aandmbacon.co.uk. For more information please do visit our website www.aandmbacon.co.uk.

Published 9 December 2021

Author – Sue Fox

 

 

 

 

 

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