Agreed costs are not generally available. As a general principle, all bills of costs must be assessed, except where fixed costs are available. The procedure to assess bills below £3,000 should be used for all bills where professionals in the past used to seek agreement.
The Court of Protection recognises that in certain circumstances it would not be in P’s best interests to request an assessment, for example where the costs of assessment are disproportionate to the amount of the bill. The court may agree costs in such circumstances, as long as the fixed costs provisions do not cover the work. If a professional deputy considers that a costs assessment would not be appropriate, they should apply to the court setting out the reasons and requesting the court to agree the bill. Any request must be accompanied by a narrative bill setting out the hours spent and the level and status of the fee earner concerned, together with fee notes and vouchers for any disbursements. The court may also exercise its discretion to agree costs at any time whether or not it is in the context of a formal application.