NEW COSTS RULES: MEET THE BANDS…

The new costs rules introduce a new concept of the “complexity band”.  Here we look at the bands within the intermediate track and the rules relating to helping the court in relation to allocation within those bands.

 

COMPLEXITY BANDS AND THE PRACTICE DIRECTION

Practice Direction 26.3 states that a party can give information in relation to allocation or the complexity band when it files the directions questionnaire.

 

“(1) If a party wishes to give the court further information which is believed to be relevant to allocation, assignment to a complexity band, where applicable, or case management it shall be given when the party files the directions questionnaire and copied to all other parties.”

Rule 4 states that the parties should consult on issues relating to directions, but this should not delay the filing of the directions questionnaire.

“(4) The court will expect the parties to have considered the track to which the claim should be allocated if proceedings are started, and, where applicable, the complexity band to which it should be assigned, having regard to the provisions in rules 26.9, 26.13 to 26.16.”

ASSIGNMENT WITHIN THE INTERMEDIATE TRACK

Assignment within the intermediate track

26.16. The complexity band to which a claim will normally be assigned in the
intermediate track is set out in Table 2.

SO… MEET THE BANDS…

COMPLEXITY BAND 1

Any claim where—
(a) only one issue is
in dispute; and

(b) the trial is not
expected to last
longer than one day,
including—

(i) personal injury
claims where
liability or quantum
is in dispute;

(ii) non-personal
injury road traffic
claims; and
(iii) defended debt claims.

 

COMPLEXITY BAND 2

Any less complex
claim where more
than one issue is in
dispute, including
personal injury
accident claims
where liability and
quantum are in
dispute

COMPLEXITY BAND 3

Any more complex
claim where more
than one issue is in
dispute, but which is
unsuitable for
assignment to
complexity band 2,
including noise
induced hearing loss
and other
employer’s liability
disease claims.

COMPLEXITY BAND 4

Any claim which
would normally be
allocated to the
intermediate track,
but which is
unsuitable for
assignment to
complexity bands 1
to 3, including any
personal injury
claim where there
are serious issues of
fact or law