The long-awaited new format bill of costs will finally be introduced on 6 April 2018.
Its impact is unlikely to be too keenly felt for the initial few months, as it will only apply to work carried out on or after 6 April 2018.
It also only applies to Part 7 multi track cases, though the Court does have discretion to order that the bill must be in the new format even if the case does not fall into this category, so practitioners should make sure they carefully check the orders they receive from the Court where issuing Part 8 costs only proceedings.
J Codes are not mandatory, but it is wholly likely that they will be used as the rules provide that any alternative must be at least as detailed as the J Codes. In reality, there is little to be gained from seeking to use an alternative, unless your current time recording system includes a coding system that is detailed and accurate enough to comply with the rules.
Delays in the introduction of the new format bill have apparently been down to investment in dual screens at all Courts to allow the parties to be able to view the changes being made to the bill on any assessment of costs.
In any event, the time has come to get to grips with the new bill and J Codes. We are fully ready for the change here at Sextons Legal and can help and assist any Solicitors with the new requirements, so do not hesitate to get in touch if you need assistance.
In other news, the well known Boxing promotor Frank Warren has lost a case against his former Solicitor relating to two cases pursued against the Boxer Ricky Burns and his agent. The cases were successful but Mr Warren received no money due to the Bankruptcy of Mr Burns and his agent.
The terms of the CFAs agreed with his Solicitor were met in that a "win" had been achieved and payment of the Solicitors' fees were therefore due to be paid. Mr Warren argued that the Solicitor had agreed that payment would only fall due where there was a "net gain" to him.
Master Leonard refused to accept that explanation, as the contractual documentation referred on many occasions to Mr Warren's liability to pay those fees, whether recovered from his opponent or not. It was ordered that the Solicitor could enforce the CFAs against Mr Warren.