The time limits laid down by the Regulations and the Practice Direction should always be complied with. It is not a sufficient reason for granting an extension of time that the appropriate officer took many months to produce the written reasons which are being appealed to the Costs Judge. Further it is not sufficient to justify an extension of time that all the papers needed to support the appeal were not immediately available.
It not infrequently happens, particularly at Christmas, Easter and holiday times that it is difficult to comply with the strict 21 day time limit laid down in the Regulations. In those situations, an appellant should always apply in writing before the relevant time limit expires seeking a short extension and giving grounds in support of that application.
Where the 21 day time limit has expired, an application for leave to appeal out of time should be mounted at the first possible opportunity thereafter and should initially be submitted in writing. The letter should always be signed by the appellant, not by his clerk, or another solicitor within his office. It should give a full explanation for the delay and justification advanced for granting leave out of time.
Such applications are in the first instance dealt with by one of the Costs Judges on the papers. Where such an application is refused the appellant may renew his application by asking for an oral hearing before the Costs Judge. Permission is sometimes granted subject to a percentage penalty reducing the amount of any increase in costs which would otherwise have been obtained on the appeal.
Where such oral hearings take place the Costs Judge will try to dispose of the substantive appeal immediately after the leave application. Those attending such applications should come prepared to address the merits of the substantive appeal, having lodged all the relevant papers. An additional fee of £100 is payable, where such leave is granted.