This year’s event promises to be unmissable for anyone who practises in costs and civil litigation. We are delighted to welcome the Right Honourable Lord Justice Rupert Jackson as our keynote speaker to give one of his last major speeches prior to his retirement in March 2018 from the Court of Appeal.
As LJ Jackson is currently writing his report into the extension of fixed recoverable costs (with publication expected on 31 July 2017) his recommendations are likely to have significant consequences for delegates and their firms.
As to implementation, we are fortunate to have Nicholas Bacon QC to bring delegates up to date with case law developments over the past 12 months including, not just fixed fees but also the numerous Conditional Fee Agreements appeals, including those that will have been decided by the Court of Appeal, (Hyde on Legal Aid/CFA side-by-side, Catalano on QOCS, Kupeli on cancellation notices, Badana on assignments), not to forget those which will still be in the pipeline, (Surrey on switch from legal aid to CFA, Radford on scope and McMenemy on ATE premiums).
Another very important case that will be awaiting hearing is Lowin v Portsmouth & Co, which drove a coach and horses through the fixed costs regime for Provisional Assessment where a receiving party beats its own Part 36 offer. Who more knowledgeable than Professor Dominic Regan to explain how best to make use of Part 36.17 if receiving costs and how to avoid disaster by making a timely Part 36 offer if paying them?
Master Jennifer James spoke at last year's conference and in addition to having the accolade of being the first Master of her gender, Jennifer is in an ideal position to talk about day-to-day practice on the Masters' corridor following the landmark decisions in Merrix and Harrison: will this be the death of Detailed Assessment as our generation has known it? Jennifer is perfectly positioned to tell us.
Roger Mallalieu, who, like Nick Bacon, is a member of 4 New Square Chambers and who, also like Nick, has been in the majority of key costs cases over the past decade (and more). His brief will be proportionality, how to apply it, how to avoid it (clue- indemnity basis costs) and to crystal ball gaze about how the Court of Appeal will approach the long-awaited appeal in BNM v MGN . Roger is also an accredited costs mediator with Costs Alternative Dispute Resolution (CADR) and will inform delegates how not to fall foul of the proportionality test under CPR 44.3(5) by using mediation rather than detailed assessment to resolve disputes about costs.
If our predictions are correct about Electronic Implementation Day, the conference will be taking place on the penultimate working day on which paper bills per se will be accepted in the SCCO, so in these circumstances, it is more than just opportune for our first afternoon speaker to be Alexander Hutton QC, whose committee invented the New Bill. Little more to be said. Alex and his team worked extraordinarily hard to produce an electronic bill which fitted the recommendations set out in the Jackson Report. Will the profession be able to react and in time and what will happen to solicitors who have not been recording their time by reference to phase, task and activity? Will they be able to recover their costs at all? The head of the Hutton Committee will tell us!
Another cornerstone of the Jackson Recommendations has been costs budgeting in multitrack cases up to £10 million. Sir Rupert is on record as saying that budgeting is now working as both the judges and the lawyers involved in the process have become used to it. The cynics out there are not so sure; faced with a choice of budgeting or fixed costs, the lesser of two evils, it is said, is budgeting so that is why its popularity has increased since its introduction on 1 April 2013. The extent to which the proof of the pudding is in the eating will be explained by Master Richard Roberts who, as a Master of the Queen's Bench Division, has budgeted numerous cases with special emphasis on clinical negligence, being, as he is, a specialist clinical negligence Master. His experience in this field is unrivalled.
Our final speaker is the Senior Costs Judge, Andrew Gordon- Saker, who will close the conference, giving his 'State of the Nation' address. Andrew has been and remains at the forefront of the implementation of the Jackson Recommendations and is currently an assessor to Sir Rupert as he writes his report into fixed costs. By the date of the conference, the outcome of the report will be known, and the extent to which its ramifications will impact upon the legal profession will be key. Having been so closely involved in his capacity as an assessor, Andrew is uniquely placed to give his views to delegates about what the future will hold.
Last year’s event was a sell-out so book now to ensure your place on this essential training event for litigators, costs lawyers & barristers.
09:15 – 09.45
Registration and refreshments
09.45 – 9.55
Welcome & Introduction
Colin Campbell, Joint Editor of Costs Law Reports
9.55 - 10.25
The Right Honourable Lord Justice Jackson
10.25 - 11.00
Part 36 and its role, timing, value & importance in costs: The Part 36 treasure trove under CPR 36.17(4); Lowin, Part 36 & liberation from fixed costs in provisional assessment.
Professor Dominic Regan
11.00 - 11.30
Update on the implementation of the Electronic Bill & how to use it
Want to stick with paper? Can you? What will betide those who have not recorded time by reference to phase, task and activity?
Alexander Hutton QC
11.30 - 11.50
Refreshments (kindly sponsored by Eversheds Sutherland)
11.50 – 12.25
Case Law update
Including fixed costs, enforceability & assignments of Conditional Fee Agreements, Litigant-in-person rates after Halborg v EMW, QOCS after Catalano & ATE premiums under challenge - is Jones still good law?
Nicholas Bacon QC
12.25 - 13.00
Proportionality: how to apply it and how to avoid it.
Are additional liabilities subject to CPR 44.3(5)? How to go for certainty: mediation in costs.
13.00 - 14.00
14.00 - 14.35
Day in the life of a Costs Judge post Merrix & Harrison: Best practice on detailed assessment; how to do well :how to do badly.
Master Jennifer James, Costs Judge
14.35 - 15.05
Is it working? Can it work for you? Is it better than fixed costs? Best practice on the CCMC.
Master Richard Roberts, Queen’s Bench Division
15.05 – 15.35
State of the Nation address
what developments can we expect: SCCO going paperless?
Master Gordon- Saker, Senior Costs Judge
15.35 – 15.43
Question Time panel session
With the afternoon speakers
15.43 - 15.45
Despite so many developments in costs, you can be confident that the Costs Law Reports Conference 2017 will provide you with everything you need to know, from the basics (who to contact in the new Electronic Court system) to the burning issues of the day (Electronic Implementation, Fixed Costs in the multi-track, is your CFA bullet-proof, etc.).
Book now to secure your place. An Early Bird discount is available until the 31 July 2017.
Any Costs Law Conference 2017 delegates who are NEW users of costslawreports.co.uk can obtain a discounted annual online subscription for £300 +VAT (instead of £465 +VAT pa).