In the case of Agents' Mutual Ltd v Gascoigne Halman Ltd (Costs Management II)  CAT 20, Mr Justice Roth has continued to make a costs management order despite agreement between the parties to dispense with the costs management process.
Roth J confirmed that the Court did not have to accept any agreement between the parties to dispense with costs management. The Claimant had denied that any such agreement had been reached and Roth J considered that the Court should make a costs management order in the litigation. This was due to the fact that the CPR did not apply to proceedings in the Competition Appeal Tribunal but Roth J also confirmed that he would have come to the same conclusion if the CPR were to apply, on the basis that the Court had the power to make a costs management order if it was considered appropriate.
Roth J went on to confirm that "any such agreement (to dispense with costs management) between the parties would be a very relevant factor to take into account".
The Claimant's costs budget was agreed between the parties at £1.8m, but the Defendant's budget was not. Roth J went on to reduce the Defendant's budget to £2.8m following reductions made to all the anticipated costs phases. The overall reduction of the anticipated costs came to 37%.
Roth J went on to confirm that the Court was not concerned with what the Defendant's Solicitor might charge their client and only by what is a reasonable and proportionate amount for the Defendant to recover on the standard basis between the parties should they win the case.