CPR r3.15(2)(a) provides that a costs management order will record the extent to which the budgets are "agreed" between the parties. One of the issues in this case was whether the defendants' budget had been agreed. A document entitled "Claimant Solicitors' Steering Group Objections to the Costs Budgets 'Precedent H' served by the Defendants" had stated as follows:
"Where an objection has not been raised in respect of the Defendants' anticipated costs, it may be assumed the same is agreed for the purposes of the costs management exercise. However the Claimants reserve the right to raise further objections on detailed assessment. The absence of dispute in the table below is therefore subject to the Claimants' rights on detailed assessment to challenge unreasonable or disproportionate costs."
It was held that: "Where the Claimants have not objected to the Defendants' anticipated costs they will be treated as agreed costs for the purposes of this costs management exercise. Accordingly it is necessary to consider with care what has been agreed between the parties. The purpose of costs budgeting is to reach a figure for each phase of the budget in respect of estimated costs for the future … That being so agreement for the purposes of Rule 3.15(2)(a) must mean agreement as to the total figure for each phase. It follows that agreement as to all constituent elements of a phase is necessary to constitute agreement of that phase for the purposes of Rule 3.15(2)(a)".