As a general rule the receiving party is entitled to the costs of the detailed assessment proceedings (CPR 47.20). Special rules are applicable to assessments under the Solicitors Act 1974 (see Section 26), as a result of offers to settle (see under the next heading) and in respect of findings of delay and misconduct (see Sections 24 and 25).
In deciding whether to depart from the general rule, where it applies, the court must have regard to all the circumstances including the conduct of the parties, the amounts, if any by which the bill of costs has been reduced and whether it was reasonable for a party to claim or dispute any item.
The costs of the detailed assessment proceedings are usually assessed summarily at the end of the hearing, but, in an exceptional case, may be subject to detailed assessment at a subsequent hearing.
Where a party entitled to costs is also liable to pay costs, the court has power to assess such costs, set them off and order payment of the balance. The court may also delay the issue of a party’s costs certificate pending payment by that party of any amount for which it is liable (CPR 44.12).