BACK TO BASICS 19: COSTS BUDGETING WHEN CASE IS MORE THAN £25,000 BUT LESS THAN £50,000

There are special rules governing budgets in cases where the claimant claims more than £25,000 but less than £50,000.  Firstly the budget has to be filed much earlier. Secondly the budget “must” only be the first page of Precedent H. These are rules that are easy to overlook. In particular it is very easy to serve the costs budget late (when it may not be any use at all). Further much time and money is spent on completing a full Precedent H when this is wholly unnecessary.

RULE  3.13(a) OF THE CIVIL PROCEDURE RULES

The first thing to note is that the costs budget is filed at a much earlier time.  The budget must be filed with the directions questionnaire.

(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

PARAGRAPH 6 (c) OF PRACTICE DIRECTION 3.B

The second point is that the budget should only be the first page of Precedent H.

(c) In cases where a party’s budgeted costs do not exceed £25,000 or the value of the claim as stated on the claim form is less than £50,000, the parties must only use the first page of Precedent H .

“LESS THAN £50,000”

The rules state “less than £50,000” and not “£50,000 or less”.  So (on the face of it) if the claim is limited to £50,000 then these specific rules do not apply.  However this is not legal advice.  It is wise to check any directions made carefully, some courts may make directions that the costs budget be filed with the directions questionnaire when the case is limited to £50,000.