Civil costs

The Civil Justice Council has approved the creation of a Costs Working Group.

The working group will consider four areas:

  • A review of Costs Budgeting
  • A review of Guideline Hourly Rates (GHRs)
  • Examination of costs under pre-action protocols/portals and the digital justice system
  • Consideration of the wider impact of the extension of Fixed Recoverable Costs (FRC)

The work will be overseen by a steering group. The steering group will liaise with a wider working group composed of representative interests, as necessary throughout the process.


The working group held a public consultation, which ran between June-October 2022. Read the full consultation paper online (PDF).

On 27 October 2022, after the CJC’s consultation on Costs (see above) had closed, the Court of Appeal handed down judgment in the case of Belsner v CAM Legal [2022] EWCA Civ 1387 (external link).

This is an important decision which the CJC costs working group will need to consider before reaching recommendations in respect of costs incurred under pre-action protocols/portals and possibly in other areas.

The working group has therefore decided to re-open the consultation on costs in for the sole purpose of allowing further comment on the implications of Belsner.

This is open to all and respondents are welcome to submit a response, limited to the implications of Belsner even if they had not previously responded within the earlier consultation period, between June-October 2022. If you have previously submitted a response you are welcome to provide a supplementary response.

This further consultation period is limited to the implication of the Belsner decision. There are no consultation questions.

The consultation will run for four weeks until 15 December 2022 at 12pm.

Responses to the consultation should be submitted online by file upload at Survey Monkey (external link).

Please note your response must contain your name/organisation name in the header of every page. Your name/organisation name should also be included in the name of the document that you upload. A template response document is available to download here for your ease: CJC Costs Consultation – Belsner (Word doc).

Steering Group

  1. Birss LJ (Deputy Head of Civil Justice)
  2. Joanna Smith J (High Court Judge)
  3. Master Amanda Stevens (Queen’s Bench Master)
  4. HHJ Nigel Bird (Circuit Judge)
  5. DJ Judy Gibson (CJC & Regional Costs Judge)

Wider Working Group

  1. Judge Gordon-Saker (Senior Costs Judge)
  2. DJ Simon Middleton (Regional Costs Judge)
  3. Master Kaye (Chancery Master)
  4. Nicholas Bacon KC (Costs Barrister)
  5. Nicola Critchley (CJC & Defendant solicitor)
  6. Brett Dixon (Claimant solicitor)
  7. Larry Shaw (CILEx)
  8. Jack Ridgway (Costs Lawyer)
  9. Robert Wright (Ministry of Justice)
  10. Elisabeth Davies (CJC & Consumer Interest)
  11. Paul Seddon (Legal Aid Practitioners Group)
  12. Andrew Higgins (CJC & Academic)