The committee set up to decide the future of legal costs in civil litigation has recommended that a new of bill of costs based on electronic assessment should be in place from October.

However, the Civil Procedure Rule committee has deferred a decision while the Ministry of Justice considers the impact of sweeping changes, the Law Society Gazette reports.

The Hutton committee, chaired by Alexander Hutton QC, responded at the end of last year to a range of concerns raised by solicitors about the new system.

The new bill of costs would be designed for automatic generation from electronic time records incorporating J-Codes, standardised codes created in response to the recommendations of Lord Justice Jackson.

In a document presented to the Civil Procedure Rule committee last month, the Hutton committee said doubts have been expressed about the timing, accuracy and cost of the new format.

The committee said its preferred option was to introduce the bill of costs, except for litigants in person, on 1 October to allow sufficient time to purchase the software.

But the CPR committee, in minutes published from December’s meeting, has decided it is ‘too soon’ for any decision.