The Law Gazette has reported results from interviews that have been conducted from 117 lawyers on their views about cost budgeting.
These results are not at all surprising; the whole process has leant itself to costs being incurred to argue and/or recover costs.
On a practical level it is virtually impossible to predict at the outset of a case what the likely expenditure will be. Anyone who has been involved in litigation knows that the direction of a case can change dramatically from one moment to the next.
Also, it is a relatively new concept, despite it being brought in back in 2013. Progress to address the issues and problems faced is being made but it is slow.
It will be interesting to see where we will be in another 3 years time.
Half of the 117 lawyers interviewed said that going over budget is caused by the case management conference being held too early, before the course of the litigation is clear. Judges are also reported to be a problem: given a set of statements on how costs management is working, 62% ticked the option ‘it depends on which judge you’re before’. Almost a third of respondents agreed that ‘judicial inconsistency is killing it’. Just one in 10 costs lawyers felt judges had got to grips with costs management.