Costs and compliance: a strict approach

In our earlier articles we have touched on the courts’ readiness to expound the ethos behind the Jackson reforms (proportionality, efficiency and compliance in cost and case management) but, in the absence of strict precedent or significant guidance, we are also aware that judges’ attempts to interpret and implement the amended Civil Procedure Rules have varied, so as to achieve apparently fair results in the particular cases heard before them so far.

Previously it has been difficult to draw any firm conclusions as to how the new regime is working in practice, but as more costs and compliance cases
are decided, certain key messages are beginning to emerge

There is no doubt that, immediately post 1 April 2013, the CPR emphasised strict compliance with rules and directions and that rhetoric from the courts (albeit not always decisions) had been consistent with that. An analysis of the latest Jackson litigation, however, indicates that judges are increasingly adopting a strict approach to compliance, and using costs budgets and sanctions to underpin this…

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