Members of 4 New Square Chambers Involved in Important Costs Judgment

News & Judgments
25 May 2023

Members of 4 New Square Chambers have been involved in an important costs judgment in which claimants are required to provide a breakdown of expert report fees to show agency charges.

On 22 May His Honour Judge Nigel Bird, the designated civil judge in Manchester and a member of the Civil Justice Council Costs Working Group handed down judgment allowing the Defendant’s appeal against a decision of Regional Costs Judge Harris.

The decision concerned two items in a Claimant’s bill of costs in a personal injury case. Both were claims for expert fees and both were supported by an invoice from an agency, Premex. The Defendant had applied for an order that the Claimant provide a breakdown of each item to show how much related to the charge made by the expert for providing the report and how much related to the services provided by Premex. In particular, the Defendant relied on the obligation under CPR 47 PD 5.2 on the Claimant to provide copies of the fee notes of any expert in respect of fees claimed in the bill.

The Regional Costs Judge had dismissed the application, but had indicated that the Claimant’s claim for these items may be subject to reduction on assessment in due court.

The Defendant appealed. HHJ Bird allowed the appeal. He concluded that an invoice from an agency did not satisfy the requirement of the PD and could not be and was not the fee note of the expert. Further, that without a breakdown it was not possible for the paying party to make a rational, evidence based, decision about whether to agree or dispute the item or make any offer. He ordered that the Claimant was to provide a breakdown and copies of the fee notes from the expert, in default of which the items would be disallowed in full.

The Defendant had initially sought a leapfrog appeal to the Court of Appeal, but did not pursue that application when the matter was listed before HHJ Bird. The Claimant is understood to be considering whether to make an application for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal.

The Defendant was represented by 4 New Square Chambers Roger Mallalieu KC, and the Claimant by 4 New Square Chambers Benjamin Williams KC, and John Meehan of Kenworthy’s Chambers.

A copy of the judgment may be accessed here.

Related People

Benjamin Williams KC

Call: 1994 Silk: 2015

Roger Mallalieu KC

Call: 1998 Silk: 2020



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