THE DISCLOSURE PILOT SCHEME AND COSTS BUDGETING: YOU CAN AGREE TO DEFER BUDGETING OF THE DISCLOSURE PHASE
In Persimmon Homes Ltd & Anor v Osborne Clark LLP & Anor  EWHC 831 (Ch) Master Kaye pointed out that the Disclosure Pilot for the Business and Property Courts allows the parties to agreed to defer budgeting of the disclosure phase until after the CCMC.
The Master refused an application to vary the budget. The claimants applied to vary their budget on the grounds that there had been a wider order in relation to disclosure than that provided for in their budget. The Master refused the application on several grounds. Amongst other things it was pointed out that Practice Direction 51U expressly allows the parties to defer budgeting of the disclosure phase until after the court has determined which disclosure model is to be used. The claimants failure to consider this was an element in the Master’s refusal to vary the budget.
THE PRACTICE DIRECTION
22.1 The parties are required to provide an estimate of what they consider to be the likely costs of giving the disclosure proposed by them in the Disclosure Review Document, and the likely volume of documents involved, in order that a court may consider whether such proposals on disclosure are reasonable and proportionate (as defined in paragraph 6.4). These estimated costs may be used by the court in the cost budgeting process.
22.2 In cases where the cost budgeting scheme applies, if it is not practical to complete the disclosure section of Form H in relation to disclosure prior to the court making an order in relation to disclosure at the case management conference, the parties may notify the court that they have agreed to postpone completion of that section of Form H until after the case management conference. If they have agreed to postpone they must complete the disclosure section within such period as is ordered by the court after an order for disclosure has been made at the case management conference. Where possible the court will then consider (and if appropriate, approve) that part of the cost budget without an oral hearing.
THE WEBINAR ON VARYING THE BUDGET
On the 19th May 2021 I am presenting a webinar on Applying to Vary a Costs Budget. The decision in Persimmon Homes is looked at in some detail.
BOOKING ONTO THE WEBINAR
Booking details are available here.