Costs in litigation are often controlled by the Courts under the principles of Costs Management. The Court can play an active role in managing both sides’ costs as part of its wider case management powers, and it is often not possible for the parties to agree to opt out of these powers.
Under the process of costs budgeting, parties are required to submit their costs budgets to the Court at the case and costs management stage of the court process . It is preferable if the parties agree their estimated costs at this stage, though it is possible to amend the budget at a later stage to take account of developments in the case. Careful planning and budgeting of costs is therefore a key consideration from the outset of a contentious matter.
We have great experience in costs budgeting and usually prepare the Precedent H budgets internally, without the need to employ costs draftsmen. In addition, we are often able to agree budgeted fees throughout your matter on an internal basis. This may take the form of a cap on fees, whereby we will only incur costs on your file up to a pre-agreed amount, or a fixed fee for carrying out certain stages of the litigation process, such as drafting statements of case or conducting settlement negotiations. In more complex matters, we usually issue interim invoices to allow clients to keep on top of their ongoing costs.
In all matters, we will provide a fee estimate at the outset and update this estimate as the case progresses, so that you are always aware of the costs incurred and the likely costs going forwards.