20. Assessment of Costs

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A successful party will generally only ever be awarded between 65 and 80% of their actual costs and it is up to the solicitor to make their client aware that even if they win the case, they are unlikely to avoid having to pay an amount towards their legal costs.

Summary Assessment of Costs

The court will assess the costs and parties must assist by completing Form N260 detailing the amount of time spent on a task, the hourly rate, name and grade of all fee earners, amount and type of disbursement and VAT.

Under CPR 44.5, the Court must have regard to all the circumstances in determining whether costs were:

(1)

  • (a) if it is assessing costs on the standard basis:
    • (i) proportionately and reasonably incurred; or
    • (ii) were proportionate and reasonable in amount, or
  • (b) if it is assessing costs on the indemnity basis:
    • (i) unreasonably incurred; or
    • (ii) unreasonable in amount.

(2) In particular the Court must give effect to any orders which have already been made.

(3) The court must also have regard to:

  • (a) the conduct of all the parties, including in particular:
    • (i) conduct before, as well as during, the proceedings; and
    • (ii) the efforts made, if any, before and during the proceedings in order to try to resolve the dispute;
  • (b) the amount or value of any money or property involved;
  • (c) the importance of the matter to all the parties;
  • (d) the particular complexity of the matter or the difficulty or novelty of the questions raised;
  • (e) the skill, effort, specialised knowledge and responsibility involved;
  • (f) the time spent on the case; and
  • (g) the place where and the circumstances in which work or any part of it was done.

There is no fee payable for a summary assessment and no need for additional evidence to support the statement of costs. Interest should be claimed on the costs of the main action.

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