The judiciary is undertaking a review of those recommendations made by Lord Justice Jackson that have not yet been implemented, it has emerged.
In an interview with this website to mark his appointment as honorary president of the Association of Costs Lawyers, Mr Justice Ramsey – the judge in charge of implementation – said this may lead to some “tidying up” of the CPR or even legislation to introduce further changes.
He highlighted issues such as aligning the bill of costs with the budgeting form Precedent H, and introducing pre-issue costs management as among those under consideration by a working party which he is chairing.
Ramsey J said that generally “the reforms are being accepted and dealt with as one would have wanted”. The importance of costs budgeting and the need for compliance has particularly come to the fore, and “parties are now fully engaged in preparing and discussing their costs budgets”, he said.
A key element of the reforms is that judges are less tolerant of delay and failures to comply with orders, and Ramsey J said it was clear there was “stricter and more consistent application of the rules than we had before”.
Lawyers have pointed out mistakes and inconsistencies in the revised CPR and the judge said this is always going to happen in a complex set of rules like these. Sorting them out is “the business of the rule committee”, he pointed out.
Ramsey J said his role with the ACL was to help its members come to terms with the changes in the same way that he is assisting others in the litigation world. “They are adjusting their business models to decide where their skills can be best used,” he said.
Costs budgeting is seen as a major growth area for costs lawyers. “Certainly with the Jackson reforms and costs budgeting, one has to look at the costs of running cases from the beginning,” he said.