Quite a few years have passed since the decisions in both Mitchell v News Group Newspapers Ltd and Denton v TH White Ltd. Yet, it seems as if some are still falling foul of the draconian sanctions of filing a costs budget out of time.
In Lakhani & Anor v Mahmud & Ors, the Defendant filed and served their costs budget just one day after an ordered deadline had expired - and then left it until the date of the case management conference to make an application for relief from sanctions.
The Defendant was denied relief on the day. Upon appeal, the Defendant was again denied. As a consequence, their costs budget was limited to Court fees.
There is something to be learned from this case. Simply put, get your costs budget filed and served on time, first time. Should you be in the unfortunate position that you have missed the deadline to do so, then make your application for relief promptly!
HHJ Lochrane said that in the circumstances there was no sensible excuse for the breach, continuing: “My conclusion is that this is not a trivial breach. It is a serious breach. It is a breach which has imperilled the proper conduct of this litigation.