‘Absurd’ £208m claimant costs budget in £6bn dieselgate claim slashed by three quarters

Comments are off for this post.

Senior judges have taken a chainsaw to what they describe as ‘absurd’ and ’eye-watering’ cost budgets in a collective action potentially worth £6bn. Following a three-day costs hearing featuring 23 counsel, Mr Justice Constable (pictured) and Senior Costs Judge Gordon-Saker reduced the claimants’ costs budget from £208m to £52m and the defendants’ budget from £212m to £114m.

The costs hearing was part of the procedural runup in an action brought against more than a dozen car manufacturers and finance companies over the sale of diesel cars fitted with software to subvert emissions control regulations. The claimants, represented by Leigh Day and Pogust Goodhead, are seeking compensation adding up to £6bn.

Lambasting the claiments’ costs estimates, the judges observed: ‘There appears to be little effort – nor, it seems, incentive – to run this litigation in a manner so as to minimise, as far as reaonably possible, the number of lawyers and the hours they suggest they need to work in order sensibly to progress this legislation.’

In particular, the ruling in Pan Nox Emissions Litigations demolishes as ‘wholly untenable’ the claimants’ argument that their costs should be comparable with those of the multiple defendants.  While the defendants ‘who are to a large extent in competition’ require separate representation, disclosure and expert evidence, the claimants will enjoy economies of scale. For example, the claimants’ budget of more than £21m for disclosure ‘is absurd’ the judgment states.

For the trial itself, the claimants’ counsel team is charging £440,000 a week and the solicitors £1m a week. The latter charge is based upon 34 lawyers working 12-hour days. ‘Even where it is accpted that… there will be ongoing work ‘behind the scenes’ to assist the counsel team, it is obviously wholly incredible to consider that there may be any real value added by such a fleet of lawyers’.

Closing submissions in the case are scheduled for March 2026 – a hearing at which the claimants proposed incurring a further £18m. ‘The defendants’ budgeted sums were also excessive,’ the judges concluded.

The judgment concludes with a six-page appendix summarising totals provided as part of a costs management order – however ‘because of the size of the documents, we do not try to append them to this judgment’.

A two-week preliminary issue hearing in the claim is listed for October.

Source link




Dominic Levent Solicitors
Email: Enquiries@dominiclevent.com
Phone: 020 8347 6640
Url: https://www.dominiclevent.com
cash, check, credit card, invoice


1345 High Rd
London, London N20 9HR


Share this article