CIVIL PROCEDURE UPDATE: NEW RULES – MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT’S COMING!

 

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By Catherine Duffy

On 3rd February 2017 the Civil Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2017 were made. The majority of these rules will come into force on 6th April 2017.

FIXED COSTS

Amendment of Part 45

The new rules state that fixed costs cease to apply when an action is in the multi-track.

This reinforces the Court of Appeal decision in Qadar and others v Esure Services Limited [2016]EWCA Civ 1109.

SANCTIONS FOR NON-PAYMENT OF TRIAL FEES

Detailed provisions are now given outlining the sanctions when either the claimant or defendant fails to pay the trial fee.

COSTS BUDGETING

Amendment of rules 3.15 and 3.18

The aim of this amendment is to ensure that costs management and budgeting operate as intended in the light of the Court of Appeal decision in SARPD Oil International Limited v Addax Energy SA and another [2016]EWCA Civ 120.The Court of Appeal said that there should be a full argument about the incurred costs and whether they are reasonable and proportionate at the costs budgeting hearing.

The new rules however are designed to stop a full “assessment” at the costs budgeting stage. Instead the judge may record “any comments it has about the incurred costs which are to be taken into account in any subsequent assessment proceedings.” There is now specific provision for the court to make comments about incurred costs. The court will also record any agreements about the “budgeted costs”, rather than the “budget”. Incurred costs are not budgeted costs.

The effect of this amendment is to take us back to the position before SARPD Oil International Limited v Addax Energy SA and another, where the Judge would be asked to note and record only that the incurred costs were disproportionate.

AARHUS CONVENTION CLAIMS

Detailed provisions are set out for parties when claiming or denying that an action is an Aarhus Convention claim.

USEFUL LINKS

The new rules can be found here:-

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2017/95/pdfs/uksi_20170095_en.pdf

I am grateful to Gordon Exall and his blog on Civil Litigation Brief.

Please see the following link for further information:-

http://www.civillitigationbrief.com/2017/02/08/new-rules-coming-into-force-costs-   budgeting-and-qader-result-codified/

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