IS THE BUDGET DEFINITIVE ON ASSESSMENT? MORE CATS, MORE PIGEONS: THERE ARE NOW TWO TRAINS OF THOUGHT ON THE HOURLY RATE
Earlier this month I blogged on the decision in RNB v London Borough of Newham  EWHC B15 (Costs). Deputy Master Campbell decided that the hourly rate could be challenged at the assessment stage even if the total of a particular stage was within the budget. It is clear that there is not judicial unanimity on this issue.
READ THIS ARTICLE
Michael Fletcher has today posted an article reporting an assessment he took part in last Friday where District Judge Lumb (sitting as the Regional Costs Judge in Birmingham) expressly disagreed with the RNB decision. Everyone involved in costs should read it.
“Judge Lumb held that to reduce hourly charging rates for budgeted costs to the same levels as those allowed for the incurred costs, thereby causing a potential departure from the budgeted phase totals, would be to second guess the thought process of Costs Managing Judge and would impute a risk of double jeopardy into the detailed assessment. “
THERE ARE NOW TWO SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT
The contrast between the two approaches is clear. Presumably, and hopefully some time soon, there will be clarification of this issue.