This was a short decision of Costs Judge Rowley dealing with the documents section of a £169,000 bill of costs. He dealt with issues such as alleged duplication of effort, supervision, the impact of Counsel’s involvement on the reasonable and recoverable time spent, the absence of contemporaneous attendance notes and time spent checking the bill.
“In my judgment, a party who does not consider whether they are entitled to a fee remission and, thereafter make an application if there is any doubt, risks being unable to recover that fee from their opponent. If the opponent can demonstrate that the receiving party appeared to fall within the remission scheme, the onus will be on the receiving party to justify why the court fees were incurred. If as here, there is no such justification put forward, the fee should be disallowed under CPR 44.3. Such a party has not incurred the lowest amount it could reasonably be expected to spend. At the very least there has to be a doubt which is to be exercised in favour of the paying party.”
When it comes to detailed assessment of solicitors’ fees the level of detail required is dictated largely by the Practice Direction accompanying CPR 47, specifically paras 5.12 to 5.22. But what about the fees of any experts who have assisted with the case?