Involved in a commercial dispute? A new voluntary pilot scheme will run for two years from 14 January 2019 under Practice Direction 51W, with the aim of capping parties’ recoverable costs for cases up to a value of £250,000 in the London Circuit Commercial Court and the Business and Property Courts. The idea behind the Capped Costs List Pilot Scheme dates back to a report by Jackson LJ on fixed recoverable costs published in July 2017; “Review of Civil Litigation Costs: Supplemental Report – Fixed Recoverable Costs”.
The pilot scheme builds on the capped costs regime in the Intellectual Property and Enterprise Court and is intended to lower the costs of litigation, increase the certainty of costs exposure and speed up the resolution of claims. The pilot scheme has a number of important features:
- Claimants may start their claim on the capped costs list in claims up to a value of £250,000 and Defendants may object at the outset to the case being part of the pilot.
- Recoverable costs are capped in stages and subject to an overall cap of £80,000 broken down into smaller caps for the various stages of litigation. Exceptions apply to this figure (including court fees, enforcement and wasted costs).
- The new capped costs pilot will not be available for cases which require a trial of more than 2 days.
- The pilot will not apply in cases involving fraud or dishonesty, are likely to require extensive disclosure and/or reliance upon extensive witness or expert evidence, or if they involve numerous issues and parties.
- Statements of cases will be limited in length and must be accompanied by the core documents.
- Disclosure will not be ordered as standard and the parties will be able to rely only on the documents contained in the bundles of core documents. Any party seeking disclosure must make a written request to the other party by no later than the time for serving and filing the CMC bundle.
- If so ordered statements of case shall stand as evidence in chief at trial.
- Part 36 applies to proceedings in the pilot. The total costs a court may order are not more than £100,000 and up to 25% above each capped stage.
If you would like more information, please contact us.