Costs Orders Against And In Favour Of Litigation Friends

Mr Justice Morgan examined a long line of authority in this case ranging in date from 1727 to 1921 to determine important issues as to the circumstances in which litigation friends should be ordered to pay other parties’ costs, and where orders for costs might be made in their favour.

Manchester Shipping Ltd v Balfour Shipping Ltd & Anor

Relief Granted Following Late Filing Of A Costs Budget

Lionel Persey QC sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court granted the Defendants relief from sanctions following the late filing of their costs budget by 13 days. It was accepted that the breach had been inadvertent and understandable given that the Defendants had been relying on an agreed table of procedural steps to be completed before the CCMC, which made no mention of costs budgeting. It was found that the Defendants had “dropped the ball” but that their default was not egregious in the particular circumstances of the case.

How Relevant Are The Guideline Hourly Rates?

The SCCO Guideline Hourly Rates were last updated in 2010. In 2014 they were reviewed by the then Master of the Rolls, Lord Dyson MR, but left unchanged due to a lack of reliable evidence.

But how relevant are the guidelines five years on?

Supreme Court: Review of costs officers decision

Supreme Court: Review of costs officer’s decision

The Rules regarding the review of a Costs Officer’s decision in the JCPC differ slightly from the Rules of the Supreme Court but they are set out separately below for ease of reference.

Supreme Court fees

Supreme Court: fees

The fee on filing a Bill of Costs is 2.5% of the amount claimed (including VAT).
The fee payable on assessment of the Bill is 2.5% of the amount allowed (including the costs of assessment and VAT).
Where a Bill of Costs is agreed fewer than 21 days prior to assessment, the assessment fee is payable on the amount agreed between the parties.

Provisional Assessment

Supreme Court: Provisional assessment

Where a Paying Party does not file Points of Dispute, a Provisional Assessment will be conducted.
In the Supreme Court a Provisional Assessment will also be carried out where one of the parties requests such an assessment or where the costs claimed are £75,000 or less. A Provisional Assessment will also be carried out in the Supreme Court in cases involving public funding, except where a Legal Aid provider requests a hearing or where the size or complexity of the Bill requires a Detailed Assessment hearing.

Supreme Court: Filing and service of bill of costs

The claim for costs must be in Form 5 specified in Section 2 of the respective Practice Directions of the Supreme Court and the JCPC. It must be filed within three months of the date on which the relevant costs order was made and must, at the same time, be served on the other parties. There is provision in the Supreme Court (PD 13 para 8) and JCPC (PD 8 para 6) to seek an extension or to file out of time, but time limits in the Supreme Court and JCPC are enforced more strictly than in the SCCO and (unlike in the SCCO) there is no onus on the Paying Party to take the issue.

Supreme Court Logo

Supreme Court: Introduction

Assessments of costs in the Supreme Court are conducted by the Costs Officers appointed by the President. One must be a Costs Judge; the second must be the Registrar of the Supreme Court. The Costs Officers normally sit together as a Court of two or three. The current panel of Costs Judges sitting in the Supreme Court is the Senior Costs Judge (Chief Taxing Master) Gordon-Saker, Master Leonard and Master James.

Various statutes give the SCCO jurisdiction to assess costs in litigation including the following

Cases transferred from other courts: Assessment of costs awarded by other tribunals and bodies

Various statutes give the SCCO jurisdiction to assess costs in litigation including…

Assessment of costs awarded in the High Court and County Court

Cases transferred from other courts: Assessment of costs awarded in the High Court and County Court

Bills of costs in proceedings in the District Registries of the High Court and the County Court are frequently transferred to the SCCO either at the request of the parties or of the Court’s own initiative. This is likely to occur when a District Judge considers the size and complexity of the bill warrants such a transfer.