The Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) Committee have postponed the implementation of the new electronic bill of costs until April 2018.
The new bill of costs was set to become compulsory from October 2017 following the end of the pilot scheme on 30 September. However following a meeting on 21 June 2017, the CPR Committee has made the decision to delay the mandatory use of the bill by a further 6 months.
The mandatory use of the new bill of costs was due to commence in the High Court in the Senior Courts Costs Office (SCCO). However the start date has been delayed to allow for the implementation across all County Courts in addition to the SCCO at the same time. Rolling out the new bill on different dates in different courts would be undesirable and create complexity and confusion amongst court users.
The extra six months would allow for various IT developments to be implemented in County Courts to ensure they are in a place to handle bills filled electronically, and for users to become accustomed to the availability of dual screens, wifi and laptops. In addition, the extra time will allow for judicial training on the new bills and testing / training of court staff using the example electronic bills in the interim period.
Whilst the new bill is expected to be compulsory from April 2018, it should be noted this is subject to the parliamentary timetable.