Are you ready for J-Codes & the new format Bill of Costs?

This week Yvette Davies & Ben Watkins delivered a presentation about the introduction of J-codes and new format Bill of Costs to members of MASS (Motor Accident Solicitors Society).

J-codes are electronic time recording codes which will be used by fee-earners on cases requiring a Precedent H Costs Budget. In their presentation, Yvette & Ben considered the impact these codes will have on the new format Bill of Costs which is currently going through a voluntary pilot in the Senior Courts Costs Office.

The team at bSquared are up to date with all aspects of J-codes and the new format of Bill of Costs. We can offer fixed fee consultancy or training sessions on any aspect of these topics.

Alternatively, if you have any queries about how these updates may affect you, please don’t hesitate to contact us for free initial advice from one of our costs specialists.

J-codes: Key points

  • The Hutton Committee aims to make the formation of the bill of costs as efficient as possible. One way of doing this is developing and introducing a new time coding system, currently called the EW-UTMBS. A full list of J-Codes can be found here.
  • When assigning work you will first get a phase code (e.g. JD00 – ADR Settlement). Then you will need to work out what task code you are completing (e.g. JE30 – Part 18 requests). Then you will apply an activity code (e.g. A101: Plan & Prepare)
  • J-Codes were approved by the LEDES Oversight Committee in September 2014 – it is unclear whether or not( or how quickly) J-codes will be adopted by the wider legal profession. Most firms already use computerised time recording software which will need to be redeveloped. It is likely that new J-Code specific time recording software will be launched.

New Format Bill of Costs: Key points

  • There will be 5 stages to completing the new format Bill of Costs:

1. Background Information

2. Info for automated elements of BoC

3. Core info for work done and fees incurred

4. Checking the BoC and summaries

5. Ensuring compliance with indemnity principle

  • A voluntary pilot in the SCCO began in October 2015 and a mandatory pilot was due to commence in April 2016
  • The new format is currently in a free downloadable XL spreadsheet and will ultimately be available in an XML format.
  • Existing costs drafting software likely to adopt the new format


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