Costs Caps & Estimates
The rules on costs caps and costs estimates reflect a desire to ascertain and even control costs long before the assessment process begins.
The amendment of the CPR in April 2009 to make express provision for costs caps are bound to lead to an increase in disputes as to when a cap is appropriate and its level. With the additional prospect that a cap set in the course of a claim may in practice be a substitute for a detailed assessment, parties will want to ensure that their best case is put forward. Members of the costs team are often brought in to supplement trial counsel on capping applications.
Estimates of costs, both those provided to clients and those served inter partes, are an important aspect of the civil costs regime. Depending on the circumstances, an inaccurate estimate, if uncorrected, can lead to significant amounts of costs being disallowed. We can help make sense of the principles involved and the decided case law, which are not always easy to apply.
- Garbutt v Edwards (CA)  1 WLR 2907,  1 All ER 553
- Willis v Nicolson (CA)  PIQR P22
- Mastercigars Direct Ltd v Withers  EWHC 2733 (Ch)