Efforts to reduce the cost of trial bundles are impressing the bench.
At IBC Legal’s Solicitors Costs conference earlier this month, there was an interesting talk by Judge Simon Brown QC of Birmingham Civil Justice Centre.
The judge was clearly impressed by the way one side had recently dealt with its trial bundle in Jackson v Thompsons and others  EWHC 218 (QB), which was a case in front of Mr Justice Simon in the Royal Courts of Justice.
The claimants had asked permission to serve their trial bundle electronically – and the cost savings that yielded were staggering.
The bundle consisted of 35 lever-arch files per copy, with eight copies. The total printing cost would have been a whopping £21,600.
By contrast, the cost of e-bundling, at 20p per page and £80 per day in the courtroom, amounted to around £3,400.
Quite a saving, and one that is clearly making an impression on the judiciary.
Judge Brown went on to highlight that the e-bundling method also appears to save court time, as well as parties’ cash. Through observing the court, it was ascertained that it took those using paper bundles around 15 seconds to find the relevant section – compared with just one second when it was being done by the click of a mouse.
E-bundling is currently being piloted by the Supreme Court, so we know it is on the judicial radar, and the impetus is coming from the top.
Put in the broader context of the new focus on proportionality of legal costs, anything that is capable of slashing costs so dramatically - and doing so without taking away from lawyers’ own fees - is surely worth thinking about.
And with the judiciary’s current tough stance on high legal fees, offering to file bundles electronically - and spelling out the costs saving that this will entail - will surely win a few brownie points with the bench; provided the judge in question knows how to use a computer.
Rachel Rothwell is editor of Litigation Funding magazine