The parties prepared costs budgets which they had not agreed. Morgan J was therefore required to make a costs management order approving the budgets (in relation to future costs). He noted that: "The rules do not prescribe any particular mathematical relationship between the costs and the sums in issue. It would obviously be inappropriate to do so". However, having reviewed prior caselaw, he concluded that the claimants' combined costs budget should be about half of the claim. Accordingly, their combined budget of £5.05 million was a disproportionate sum in relation to a claim for £7.08 million. The case would essentially be a factual dispute which was not particularly complex (and the judge was not required to manage the costs of any future appeal at this stage).
Rule 44.3(5)(d) refers to the relationship of the costs to any additional work generated by the paying party. That rule applies where an order for costs has been made and one knows who the paying party is. At the costs budget stage, there is not yet an order that anyone pay the budgeted costs but the judge said that: "I consider that the question of proportionality should be judged on the hypothetical basis that the party who has prepared the budget turns out to be the receiving party". Here, the judge was prepared to allow the claimants sums for contingencies to reflect the possibility that there will be future procedural difficulties which might be attributable to a lack of cooperation from some of the defendants.