INACCURATE TIME ESTIMATES CAN LEAD TO COSTS PENALTIES: A REMINDER
There is another aspect of the judgment in Finvest Holdings Sarl -v- Lovering  3WLUK 579 HHJ Pelling (sitting as a High Court Judge) that merits examination. The judgment emphasised the need for accurate time estimates.
The judge gave judgment in relation to an application for relief from sanctions. He observed that the time estimate had been inaccurate.
2. I directed at the outset that the application to set aside should be heard first since, if that succeeded, all the other applications fell away. Although the time estimate for the hearing of these applications was 2½ hours, that was plainly inadequate since argument on the first application was completed only at 4.15 p.m. on last Friday. Given that factor, I decided to adjourn at that point since plainly judgment could not be completed by 4.30, and certainly the remaining applications could not be determined if they had to be. The failure to give accurate time estimates has been the subject of a practice note only very recently signed by Cockerill J as Judge in Charge of the Commercial Court, and by me in relation to the London Circuit Commercial Court. I intend to revisit the plainly inadequate time estimates when the question of costs of these various applications comes to be decided.
THE CONSEQUENCE IN RELATION TO COSTS
On the facts of this case it was not appropriate to penalise for the inaccurate time estimates.