Budget variation: Don’t leave it to Detailed Assessment

Posted by Michelle Barron on 29th June, 2022 in Opinion and categorised in .

Are you overlooking your mandatory requirement to vary your budget pursuant to CPR 3.15A? 

CPR 3.15A makes it clear that a party “must” “revise its budgeted costs upwards or downwards if significant developments in the litigation warrant such revisions.” 

and “Any budgets revised in accordance with paragraph (1) must be submitted promptly by the revising party to the other parties for agreement, and subsequently to the court…” 

This was tested in the case of Persimmon Homes Ltd and Anor v Osborne Clarke LLP and Anor [2021] EWHC 831 (Ch), where Master Kaye in his judgment made it clear that “the absence of promptness in making the applications not only affects whether the application to vary meets the threshold test but has consequences from a practical perspective…… it may have been possible, had an application been made earlier in the year, to identify in advance of incurring all the costs factors which might have persuaded the judge prospectively that they amounted to a significant development that warranted a revision to the last approved costs budget. Prospectively it may then have been possible to persuade a judge that there were additional to be incurred costs said to arise from the RFI/RRFI and CMCs before the costs were incurred thus enabling the court to prospectively manage and control the costs. The very purpose of the variation process.” 

In short, don’t leave it too long before applying to vary a costs budget, Delay may be fatal! Also we know from experience that the court dislikes applications to vary, after a budget has been exceeded and you are at the mercy of the “good reason” test, if you hope to recover at Detailed Assessment, any amount over and above an approved or agreed budget. 

Burcher Jennings, have vast experience in the preparation and variation of costs budgets, using technology to its fullest to make updating and budget variations swift and accurate. Our seasoned Costs Experts are here to guide you through the rigours of CPR 3.15A and the often mind boggling issues of budget preparation. 

If you require assistance, please get in touch. 

For further information please contact Michelle Barron michelle.barron@burcherjennings.com 0870 7777 100 or Martyn Jennings, martyn.jennings@burcherjennings.com 0870 7777 100 

Why use Burcher Jennings..? 

If what you have read above doesn’t convince you to give us a try, the independent view of others may persuade you!  

We are delighted to have won the Modern Law Awards for an unprecedented three consecutive years and our clients continue to say good things about what we do: 

“I have always found the work done by Burcher Jennings to be first rate.” 

 Richard Johnson, Top 100 law firm Browne Jacobson 


“I have been very impressed with the service from Burcher Jennings, in terms of the costing of files, negotiation of costs and cost budgeting. I am delighted with the speed of the service and the results achieved.” 

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