This is the checklist produced by Group H. You can see the cost lawyer’s concerns at work in relation to the proper allocation of the case and the need to keep an ongoing record. Of particular interest is the question what happens when you notice that the case is going over budget? This is going to be a very interesting topic in years to come.
COSTS BUDGETING, SUMMARY ASSESSMENT AND DETAILED ASSESSMENT
1. Ensure the case is allocated to the appropriate fee earner.
2. Create a diary system for deadlines make sure your staff are properly trained.
3. Make sure time recording is accurate from instruction to settlement.
4. Collate all information/documents and invoices as the proceedings progress.
5. Create a checklist as per file requirements.
6. Make sure you have a clear case plan.
7. Have on-going monthly reviews of the costs budget. (If the case is going over budget (i) why is this; (ii) what can you do?).
8. Make sure there is a shared diary with key dates.
9. Give detailed clear assumptions when cost budgeting.
10. Make sure you get the Form H served and lodged in time and be certain you can prove it was both lodged and served.
OTHER CHECKLISTS THAT MAY HELP
- Lexis Nexis have 10 issues to consider when completing a costs budget (free checklist).
- Mills & Reeve have Countdown to Jackson Checklist
- Legal Support Network on Precedent H and Costs Budgeting
- Paul Hawkins Guidance Note on Multi Track Costs Budgeting