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What is a Costs and Case Management Conference?

A CCMC is an important stage in the litigation process where the court will order case management directions up to trial. Seek legal advice or a second opinion to ensure the case is managed in accordance with a litigation strategy to maximise your chances of being the successful party.

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What does CCMC stand for?

A CCMC is a legal acronym standing for Costs and Case Management conference. It is a directions hearing between the parties to a litigation and the judge.

What does CMC stand for?

CMC stands for Case Management Conference. It is where parties agree directions to trial.

What is a CCMC hearing?

A Costs and Case Management Conference (CCMC) is a hearing where both parties to a litigation attend before the judge and agree directions and the costs budget to trial.

What happens at a Costs and Case Management Conference (CCMC)?

A Costs and Case Management Conference is a procedural hearing where the Court will:

  • Check that previous deadlines and directions have been complied with by the parties;
  • Ensure that the issues are identified and understood between the parties;
  • Consider if any issues between the parties can be narrowed before trial;
  • Order case management directions up to trial; and
  • Consider estimated costs of the dispute and consider how proportionate the costs are to the value of the dispute.

The court may also hear applications for example an application where allowing the use of expert evidence or amendment of a statement of case or it may issue orders by its own motion.

How do I prepare for a CCMC?

Parties should prepare for a CMC/CCMC by:

  • preparing a bundle;
  • drafting a case summary;
  • compiling a list of issues between the parties;
  • completing a disclosure report; and
  • filing a costs budget.

What is a CCMC Bundle?

Solicitors will need to prepare a bundle for the CCMC containing all relevant documents (including case statements such as the Particulars of Claim and the Defence).

What is a Case Summary for a CMC?

The summary of the case is expected to be a brief and uncontroversial statement of the facts of the case in order to give the Court a broad understanding of what the case is all about.

What is a List of Issues?

The list of issues is expected to be an impartial statement of the issues in dispute between the parties within the case in order to give the Court an understanding of the issues in dispute We will aim to agree the wording of the lists of issues with your opponent’s solicitors.

What is a Disclosure Report?

A disclosure report is a document that briefly describes the categories of the relevant documents to the case showing the location of the document if any relevant docs are stored electronically. The disclosure report will also provide a broad estimate of the range of costs that could be involved when providing a standard disclosure.

What is a Cost Budget?

A cost budget may have to be prepared and filed which must contain an estimate of the proportionate and reasonable costs that in your litigation matter you intend to incur. The costs budget should also include all assumptions as an estimate and state any contingency events that might occur e.g. Mediation.

Should I agree case management directions with the opponent?

Ordinarily parties should aim to try and agree to case management direction for future steps in the litigation. Usually the discussions regarding case management directions include the following:

  1. For the purposes of mediation whether the claim should be stayed;
  2. Disclosure of documents;
  3. Disclosure of electronic documents (if applicable);
  4. Inspection of disclosed documents;
  5. Exchange of witness statements;
  6. Expert evidence and scope admissions;
  7. Exchange of expert’s reports;
  8. Between experts a meeting to identify the issues in the proceedings and the possible outcomes to reach agreement on those issues (if applicable);
  9. Instruct experts where they prepare a a joint statement showing the issues on which they agree and disagree respectively and a summary of their reasons for disagreeing;
  10. Whether there should be another CCMC (or a Pre-Trial Review, which is another type of procedural hearing) later on to review the case again and decide further directions; 
  11. If a trial date or a trial window is not suitable for the parties and can be fixed; and
  12. The time estimate for the trial.

It is reasonable for parties to disagree on any case management directions for example: If you are looking to settle the case via a mediation however your opponent may not want to resort to a mediation.

Regarding the directions if any disagreements are made then the parties’ legal representatives will then set out their arguments at the CCMC. However, eventually it will be up to the Court which case management directions it decides to order.

What will happen at a directions hearing?

Initially the Court will expect legal representatives to attend the CCMC as they are familiar with the case and have the authority to dead with any issues that will arise. Other than this there is no other requirements for either of the parties to attend the CCMC.

Are there any settlement discussions during a CMC?

During the CCMC parties may be asked what steps have been taken or are going to take to try and settle the case. We will then explain to the Court the steps at we have taken towards settlement and our current position. Therefore, We would not usually expect there to be an order for one of the parties to pay costs following the CCMC.

Who pays the costs of the case management hearing?

Generally the Court orders the winning party at the trial to pay the costs of the CCMC. If the case settles then the parties can then agree to costs when discussing settlement.

Although, the Court may decide differently and order at the CCMC for one of the parties to pay some of the other party’s costs of the CCMC. However, this is quite rare but the Court would usually do this where it disapproves of a party’s conduct of litigation.

What happens after the CCMC?

Generally, it is unlikely that a second CCMC will be required although this is the Court’s decision to arrange this. The next step to progress the case will be a hearing after the CCMC which is likely to be a Pre-Trial Review which will set the final arrangements for the trial despite there may be hearings of applications by the parties in the interim.

When does the court set a trial date?

Shortly after the CCMC, the trial date or trial window is likely to be fixed perhaps via a Court listing appointment.

Do I have to comply with Case Management Directions?

All parties are required to comply with orders is important that are given at the CCMC or else the Court will impose sanctions. Presently the Court has been imposing sanctions much more readily than it was previously due to failing to comply with orders and time limits which then makes it much more difficult to persuade the Court to lift any sanctions impose. If a failure to comply with any order occurs it could result to your claim being struck out. 

Consequently, it is important to comply with all case management directions. If there are any possibilities that you may not be able to comply with an order for any reason you should notify your solicitors instructed as soon as possible.

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The Limitation Act 1980 sets out strict statutory deadlines within which you must bring litigation claims. Your legal rights will become irreversibly time-barred if you fail to take legal action (or defend a claim on time). Therefore, you should seek specific legal advice about your legal dispute at the very first opportunity so that you understand the time you have left. Failure to take advice or delay in taking action can be fatal to your prospects of success.

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