Concerns have been raised with the Civil Procedure Rule Committee as to the amendments to CPR 3.12 dealing with costs budgeting exemptions.
The concern arises from a potential to interpret the changes as meaning that the current costs budgeting provisions do not apply to the Admiralty and Commercial Court and that as a consequence when the new provisions come into force on 22 April the new provisions regarding the £10 million exemption would not apply in the Admiralty and Commercial Court rendering all cases in these courts subject to the costs budgeting provisions whatever the value of the claim. As these courts currently have complete exemption from the costs budgeting regime this would be a dramatic reversal of position.
However, practitioners working in the Admiralty and Commercial Courts will welcome, possibly with great relief, the CPR Committee’s clarification which, in short, dismisses such an interpretation and makes it clear how the rules should be interpreted i.e. the blanket exemption in the amended CPR 3.12 will apply to all courts including the Admiralty and Commercial Courts.
However, the CPR Committee has accepted that the wording used in the rule could be potentially misleading and it will change the wording at the next opportunity.
For the full clarification click here [PDF].