The former chief whip, The Sun and the costs budgeting regime

The libel battle between the former chief whip Andrew Mitchell MP and The Sun is creating new costs law that all litigators should be aware of.

It could take the former chief whip longer to get his case against the tabloid before the courts after Master McCloud imposed sanctions on the claimant because his lawyers failed to get their costs budget in on time.

Mitchell will not be able to spend more than £500,000 on the case and the court has capped his damages bid at £150,000. An attempt to have that amended last week was met by the High Court with comprehensive rejection.

Master McCloud was clear and emphatic in her ruling and had stern words for all litigators working with in the post-Jackson regime. “Budgeting is something which all solicitors by now ought to know is intended to be integral to the process from the start,” she said.

For those not in the know, the summer holidays will provide time for further study.

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