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The Budgeting Game

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Coulson, J considered the various aspects of the two budgets, noting that the Defendant’s budget allowed nothing in respect of experts, even though at the hearing they argued that causation was in issue and this evidence was required. The judge also criticised the Defendant’s claims in respect of disclosure, witness statements and trial preparation. He concluded that the Defendant’s Precedent R was of ‘no utility’ and was ‘completely unrealistic’ as it sought to put as low a figure as possible on every stage of the litigation ‘without justification’.  He concluded that it was, therefore, ‘an abuse of the costs budgeting process’ and disregarded it for the purposes of the costs management hearing.

The Claimant, not unsurprisingly, agreed the Defendant’s budget and so, even though it was unrealistically low, the Defendant is bound by their budget. This means that even if they won in part (for example, on their Part 36 offer), they would not recover any of their expert costs etc.  In contrast, the judge allowed the Claimant’s amended budget as claimed.

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