Updates to the Civil Procedure Rules will come into effect on 6 April 2021. In this article, Jonathan Gray highlights some of the key changes in relation to costs budgeting, and Part 36 offers. Jonathan has also written separately about other updates affecting vulnerable parties and witnesses.
Rule 3.17 currently says that the court may not approve costs incurred before the costs management hearing; although it can record comments on them.
From 6 April 2021 the rule will change slightly, so the court cannot approve costs incurred up to, and including, the date of the costs hearing.
Practice Direction 3E
Paragraph 4(b) of Practice Direction 3E currently provides that where a party’s budgeted costs do not exceed £25,000, or the value of the claim as stated on the claim form is less than £50,000, the parties must only use the first page of Precedent H.
The new rule will see the reference to “budgeted costs” being replaced with “total costs (incurred and estimated costs)”.
Part 36 offers
A change to Rule 36.5 will mean that a claim for interest running from the expiry of an offer’s relevant period may now be specified.
The practical implications of this are that a Part 36 offer to accept a sum of money could make provision for the accrual of interest on that sum, running from date of the expiry of the relevant period up to acceptance. But if the offer does not make such provision, it will be treated as inclusive of all interest up to the date of acceptance.
It is not clear how this will be achieved since there appears to be no plans to amend form N242A. Presumably, the claim for interest will need to be set out in the ‘details of the offer’ box on page 2 of the N242A.
Read more about the updates to the Civil Procedure Rules
You can find out more about the updates to the Civil Procedure Rules on 6 April in the following places:
- Other updates to the Civil Procedure Rules on 6 April 2021 in relation to vulnerable parties and witnesses
- All of the Practice Direction updates (127th update)
- The Civil Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2021