GET YOUR COSTS SCHEDULES TO COURT: OR ELSE (YOU WON’T GET PAID): MAKE YOUR BED AND THEN LIE IN IT

The judgment of Mr Justice Mostyn in  Kuznetsov, R (On the Application Of) v London Borough of Camden [2019] EWHC 3910 (Admin)has a number of elements that are of interest to costs lawyers, and litigators generally. I am going to start my discussion of this case with the the point made at the end of the judgment.

“It is my practice in such circumstances, where the court is charged with a duty to bring closure by summary assessment, and where there is a positive duty to file a Form N260, the legal advisers having failed to do so they, having made that bed, must lie in it and they will not get an award of costs.”

THE CASE

The claimant was asking for a review of an order for costs made against him.  That application was refused.   The judge then went on to hear the question of the costs of the hearing that was before him.

THE JUDGMENT ON THE COSTS OF THE HEARING

The judge refused the defendant’s application for costs.  Neither party had filed a statement of costs.
    1. In relation to the costs of today, the hearing being listed for one hour (possibly shorter but definitely not more than a day), the London Borough of Camden should have been well aware that the court would endeavour, as is its duty under CPR PD 44 para.9.2(b), to summarily assess, and it cannot summarily assess unless Form N260 is filed 24 hours beforehand. Paragraph 9.5 says:

“(1) It is the duty of the parties … to assist the judge in making summary assessment of costs in any case for which para.9.2 above applies, in accordance with the following sub-paragraphs.”

Then it says what it must do. Then it says:

“(3) The statement of costs should follow as closely as possible Form N260…”

That has not happened.
  1. It is my practice in such circumstances, where the court is charged with a duty to bring closure by summary assessment, and where there is a positive duty to file a Form N260, the legal advisers having failed to do so they, having made that bed, must lie in it and they will not get an award of costs. In relation to today there will be no order as to costs.