BACK TO BASICS 17: WHEN SHOULD A COST BUDGET BE FILED: WHERE THINGS GO WRONG

This may appear very basic. However I have seen both sides falling foul of this very recently. In particular the fact that the budget has to be filed with the directions questionnaire when the claim is limited to £50,000.

THE RULES

The rules are simple.

Filing and exchanging budgets and budget discussion reports

3.13

(1) Unless the court otherwise orders, all parties except litigants in person must file and exchange budgets—

(a) where the stated value of the claim on the claim form is less than £50,000, with their directions questionnaires; or

(b) in any other case, not later than 21 days before the first case management conference.

(2) In the event that a party files and exchanges a budget under paragraph (1), all other parties, not being litigants in person, must file an agreed budget discussion report no later than 7 days before the first case management conference.

WHERE THINGS GO WRONG

  1. People often forget the exception when the case is limited to £50,000. They fail to file the budget with the directions questionnaire.
  2. The rule states the budget must be filed no later than 21 days before the first case management conference.  Sometimes people forget this, or assume that because there is no reference to costs management in the directions, the rule does not apply.

THE PENALTY

In case anyone needs reminding of the penalty. If you don’t file the budget you are working for free.

Failure to file a budget

3.14 Unless the court otherwise orders, any party which fails to file a budget despite being required to do so will be treated as having filed a budget comprising only the applicable court fees.