Civil costs

The Civil Justice Council approved the creation of a Costs Working Group in April 2022.

The working group was tasked to 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 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).

The working group re-opened the consultation between November-December 2022 for the sole purpose of allowing further comment on the implications of Belsner. There were no consultation questions

The initial period of consultation resulted in 96 responses. The additional period of consultation resulted in 15 further responses. Those consultation responses which included permission to be published can be read here.

Final Report

The working group’s final report and recommendations can be read here: Civil Justice Council Costs Review – Final Report.

Steering Group

  1. Birss LJ (Deputy Head of Civil Justice)
  2. Joanna Smith J (High Court Judge)
  3. Master Amanda Stevens (King’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) (observer)
  10. Elisabeth Davies (CJC & Consumer Interest)
  11. Paul Seddon (Legal Aid Practitioners Group)
  12. Andrew Higgins (CJC & Academic)