The decision of Flaux J in Wright v Rowland, will, I suspect, raise eyebrows in Senior Judicial Circles. Approving some but not all of a litigant's contested costs budget, leaving the most controversial elements to the Costs Judge at detailed assessment, is probably not what Lord Justice Jackson anticipated. However, standing back, was the position of Flaux J not entirely sensible on the case presented to him? Probably with limited time, he considered that he was unable to do justice to the parties in setting the budget entirely. He opted to leave the most controversial of matters to a specialist Costs Judge and the detailed assessment process. Ultimately is that not what CPR 47 is for? For those of us who have long advocated the detailed assessment, in most cases, is a more proportionate option that costs budgeting; this case should be cause for optimism that we could all revert to the tried, tested and broadly successful detailed assessment system. On the contrary however, it will likely provide amunition to the fixed costs lobby. Watch this space.
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