Andrew Hogan joins the Practico ‘Costs chat with friends’ regulars Jeremy Morgan QC and Andy Ellis.  Jeremy describes Andrew’s contribution as ‘enormously illuminative’ and we are sure you will agree.

The topics covered include:

• Andrew’s thoughts on the effect of the pandemic on the High Court/ SCCO versus the County Court.
• The new regime for witness statements operating in the Business and Property Courts with effect from 6 April 2021 (…​). In Andrew’s words, he has never seen anything like it and the pilot could be seen as ‘an exercise in shuffling the deckchairs.’ Andrew and Andy highlight some immediate and longer-term practical issues which may emerge, including the weaponisation of non-compliance by the parties.
• Solicitor client assessments can be the stuff of nightmares and the panel agree that the challenges we have seen thanks to (Belsner v Cam –…​) and Swann v Slater & Gordon –…​) will inevitably outgrow their current home in personal injury and migrate to commercial litigation.
• Budget variations – the procedure provides a bridge between the certainty that exists for the parties when a costs budget is approved at the beginning of the case and the fact that cases often develop in ways which cannot be imagined initially. The panel discuss two recent budget variation cases (Thompson v NFL Limited [2021] EWHC 679 (QB) and Persimmon & Taylor Wimpey v Osborne Clark [2021] EWHC 831 (Ch)) and highlight the interplay between the separate routes of budget variation applications on the back of significant developments and establishing good reason to depart from an approved budget on detailed assessment. They also pose an important question – who is in the best position to decide whether a budget should be increased, the managing judge or the costs judge?
• The session finishes with a nod to the possibility of costs managing expert accountants’ fees in the future as mentioned by the Senior Costs Judge in the long running costs assessment in the case of Deutsche Bank AG v Sebastian Holdings Inc –…​


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