PART 47 - PROCEDURE FOR ASSESSMENT OF COSTS AND DEFAULT PROVISIONS

Contents of this Part

 
Title Number
I GENERAL RULES ABOUT DETAILED ASSESSMENT
Time when detailed assessment may be carried out Rule 47.1
No stay of detailed assessment where there is an appeal Rule 47.2
Powers of an authorised court officer Rule 47.3
Venue for detailed assessment proceedings Rule 47.4
II COSTS PAYABLE BY ONE PARTY TO ANOTHER – COMMENCEMENT OF DETAILED ASSESSMENT PROCEEDINGS
Application of this Section Rule 47.5
Commencement of detailed assessment proceedings Rule 47.6
Period for commencing detailed assessment proceedings Rule 47.7
Sanction for delay in commencing detailed assessment proceedings Rule 47.8
Points of dispute and consequence of not serving Rule 47.9
Procedure where costs are agreed Rule 47.10
III COSTS PAYABLE BY ONE PARTY TO ANOTHER – DEFAULT PROVISIONS
Default costs certificate Rule 47.11
Setting aside a default costs certificate Rule 47.12
IV COSTS PAYABLE BY ONE PARTY TO ANOTHER – PROCEDURE WHERE POINTS OF DISPUTE ARE SERVED
Optional Reply Rule 47.13
Detailed assessment hearing Rule 47.14
Provisional Assessment Rule 47.15
V INTERIM COSTS CERTIFICATE AND FINAL COSTS CERTIFICATE
Power to issue an interim certificate Rule 47.16
Final costs certificate Rule 47.17
VI DETAILED ASSESSMENT PROCEDURE FOR COSTS OF A LSC FUNDED CLIENT OR AN ASSISTED PERSON WHERE COSTS ARE PAYABLE OUT OF THE COMMUNITY LEGAL SERVICE FUND
Detailed assessment procedure where costs are payable out of the Community Legal Services Fund Rule 47.18
Detailed assessment procedure where costs are payable out of a fund other than the community legal service fund Rule 47.19
VII COSTS OF DETAILED ASSESSMENT PROCEEDINGS
Liability for costs of detailed assessment proceedings Rule 47.20
VIII APPEALS FROM AUTHORISED COURT OFFICERS IN DETAILED ASSESSMENT PROCEEDINGS
Right to appeal Rule 47.21
Court to hear appeal Rule 47.22
Appeal procedure Rule 47.23
Powers of the court on appeal Rule 47.24

I GENERAL RULES ABOUT DETAILED ASSESSMENT

Time when detailed assessment may be carried out

47.1  The general rule is that the costs of any proceedings or any part of the proceedings are not to be assessed by the detailed procedure until the conclusion of the proceedings, but the court may order them to be assessed immediately.

(Practice Direction 47 gives further guidance about when proceedings are concluded for the purpose of this rule.)

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No stay of detailed assessment where there is an appeal

47.2  Detailed assessment is not stayed pending an appeal unless the court so orders.

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Powers of an authorised court officer

47.3

(1) An authorised court officer has all the powers of the court when making a detailed assessment, except –

(a) power to make a wasted costs order as defined in rule 46.8;

(b) power to make an order under –

(i) rule 44.11 (powers in relation to misconduct);

(ii) rule 47.8 (sanction for delay in commencing detailed assessment proceedings);

(iii) paragraph (2) (objection to detailed assessment by authorised court officer); and

(c) power to make a detailed assessment of costs payable to a solicitor by that solicitor’s client, unless the costs are being assessed under rule 46.4 (costs where money is payable to a child or protected party).

(2) Where a party objects to the detailed assessment of costs being made by an authorised court officer, the court may order it to be made by a costs judge or a district judge.

(Practice Direction 47 sets out the relevant procedure.)

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Venue for detailed assessment proceedings

47.4

(1) All applications and requests in detailed assessment proceedings must be made to or filed at the appropriate office.

(Practice Direction 47 sets out the meaning of ‘appropriate office’ in any particular case)

(2) The court may direct that the appropriate office is to be the Costs Office.

(3) In the County Court, a court may direct that another County Court hearing centre is to be the appropriate office.

(4) A direction under paragraph (3) may be made without proceedings being transferred to that court.

(Rule 30.2 makes provision for the transfer within the County Court of proceedings for detailed assessment of costs.)

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II COSTS PAYABLE BY ONE PARTY TO ANOTHER – COMMENCEMENT OF DETAILED ASSESSMENT PROCEEDINGS

Application of this Section

47.5  This Section of Part 47 applies where a cost officer is to make a detailed assessment of –

(a) costs which are payable by one party to another; or

(b) the sum which is payable by one party to the prescribed charity pursuant to an order under section 194(3) of the 2007 Act.

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Commencement of detailed assessment proceedings

47.6

(1) Detailed assessment proceedings are commenced by the receiving party serving on the paying party –

(a) notice of commencement in the relevant practice form; and

(b) a copy of the bill of costs.

(Rule 47.7 sets out the period for commencing detailed assessment proceedings.)

(2) The receiving party must also serve a copy of the notice of commencement and the bill on any other relevant persons specified in Practice Direction 47.

(3) A person on whom a copy of the notice of commencement is served under paragraph (2) is a party to the detailed assessment proceedings (in addition to the paying party and the receiving party).

(Practice Direction 47 deals with –

other documents which the party must file when requesting detailed assessment;

the court’s powers where it considers that a hearing may be necessary;

the form of a bill; and

the length of notice which will be given if a hearing date is fixed.)

(Paragraphs 7B.2 to 7B.7 of the Practice Direction - Civil Recovery Proceedings contain provisions about detailed assessment of costs in relation to civil recovery orders.)

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Period for commencing detailed assessment proceedings

47.7  The following table shows the period for commencing detailed assessment proceedings.

Source of right to detailed assessment Time by which detailed assessment proceedings must be commenced
Judgment, direction, order, award or other determination 3 months after the date of the judgment etc. Where detailed assessment is stayed pending an appeal, 3 months after the date of the order lifting the stay
Discontinuance under Part 38 3 months after the date of service of notice of discontinuance under rule 38.3; or 3 months after the date of the dismissal of application to set the notice of discontinuance aside under rule 38.4
Acceptance of an offer to settle under Part 36 3 months after the date when the right to costs arose

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Sanction for delay in commencing detailed assessment proceedings

47.8

(1) Where the receiving party fails to commence detailed assessment proceedings within the period specified –

(a) in rule 47.7; or

(b) by any direction of the court,

the paying party may apply for an order requiring the receiving party to commence detailed assessment proceedings within such time as the court may specify.

(2) On an application under paragraph (1), the court may direct that, unless the receiving party commences detailed assessment proceedings within the time specified by the court, all or part of the costs to which the receiving party would otherwise be entitled will be disallowed.

(3) If –

(a) the paying party has not made an application in accordance with paragraph (1); and

(b) the receiving party commences the proceedings later than the period specified in rule 47.7,

the court may disallow all or part of the interest otherwise payable to the receiving party under –

(i) section 17 of the Judgments Act 18381; or

(ii) section 74 of the County Courts Act 19842,

but will not impose any other sanction except in accordance with rule 44.11 (powers in relation to misconduct).

(4) Where the costs to be assessed in a detailed assessment are payable out of the Community Legal Service Fund, this rule applies as if the receiving party were the solicitor to whom the costs are payable and the paying party were the Legal Services Commission.

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Points of dispute and consequence of not serving

47.9

(1) The paying party and any other party to the detailed assessment proceedings may dispute any item in the bill of costs by serving points of dispute on –

(a) the receiving party; and

(b) every other party to the detailed assessment proceedings.

(2) The period for serving points of dispute is 21 days after the date of service of the notice of commencement.

(3) If a party serves points of dispute after the period set out in paragraph (2), that party may not be heard further in the detailed assessment proceedings unless the court gives permission.

(Practice Direction 47 sets out requirements about the form of points of dispute.)

(4) The receiving party may file a request for a default costs certificate if –

(a) the period set out in paragraph (2) for serving points of dispute has expired; and

(b) the receiving party has not been served with any points of dispute.

(5) If any party (including the paying party) serves points of dispute before the issue of a default costs certificate the court may not issue the default costs certificate.

(Section IV of this Part sets out the procedure to be followed after points of dispute have been served.)

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Procedure where costs are agreed

47.10

(1) If the paying party and the receiving party agree the amount of costs, either party may apply for a costs certificate (either interim or final) in the amount agreed.

(Rule 47.16 and rule 47.17 contain further provisions about interim and final costs certificates respectively)

(2) An application for a certificate under paragraph (1) must be made to the court which would be the venue for detailed assessment proceedings under rule 47.4.

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III COSTS PAYABLE BY ONE PARTY TO ANOTHER – DEFAULT PROVISIONS

Default costs certificate

47.11

(1) Where the receiving party is permitted by rule 47.9 to obtain a default costs certificate, that party does so by filing a request in the relevant practice form.

( Practice Direction 47 deals with the procedure by which the receiving party may obtain a default costs certificate.)

(2) A default costs certificate will include an order to pay the costs to which it relates.

(3) Where a receiving party obtains a default costs certificate, the costs payable to that party for the commencement of detailed assessment proceedings will be the sum set out in Practice Direction 47.

(4) A receiving party who obtains a default costs certificate in detailed assessment proceedings pursuant to an order under section 194(3) of the 2007 Act must send a copy of the default costs certificate to the prescribed charity.

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Setting aside a default costs certificate

47.12

(1) The court will set aside a default costs certificate if the receiving party was not entitled to it.

(2) In any other case, the court may set aside or vary a default costs certificate if it appears to the court that there is some good reason why the detailed assessment proceedings should continue.

(Practice Direction 47 contains further details about the procedure for setting aside a default costs certificate and the matters which the court must take into account)

(3) Where the court sets aside or varies a default costs certificate in detailed assessment proceedings pursuant to an order under section 194(3) of the Legal Services Act 2007, the receiving party must send a copy of the order setting aside or varying the default costs certificate to the prescribed charity.

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IV COSTS PAYABLE BY ONE PARTY TO ANOTHER – PROCEDURE WHERE POINTS OF DISPUTE ARE SERVED

Optional Reply

47.13

(1) Where any party to the detailed assessment proceedings serves points of dispute, the receiving party may serve a reply on the other parties to the assessment proceedings.

(2) The receiving party may do so within 21 days after being served with the points of dispute to which the reply relates.

(Practice Direction 47 sets out the meaning of ‘reply’.)

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Detailed assessment hearing

47.14

(1) Where points of dispute are served in accordance with this Part, the receiving party must file a request for a detailed assessment hearing within 3 months of the expiry of the period for commencing detailed assessment proceedings as specified –

(a) in rule 47.7; or

(b) by any direction of the court.

(2) Where the receiving party fails to file a request in accordance with paragraph (1), the paying party may apply for an order requiring the receiving party to file the request within such time as the court may specify.

(3) On an application under paragraph (2), the court may direct that, unless the receiving party requests a detailed assessment hearing within the time specified by the court, all or part of the costs to which the receiving party would otherwise be entitled will be disallowed.

(4) If –

(a) the paying party has not made an application in accordance with paragraph (2); and

(b) the receiving party files a request for a detailed assessment hearing later than the period specified in paragraph (1),

the court may disallow all or part of the interest otherwise payable to the receiving party under –

(i) section 17 of the Judgments Act 1838; or

(ii) section 74 of the County Courts Act 1984,

but will not impose any other sanction except in accordance with rule 44.11 (powers in relation to misconduct).

(5) No party other than –

(a) the receiving party;

(b) the paying party; and

(c) any party who has served points of dispute under rule 47.9,

may be heard at the detailed assessment hearing unless the court gives permission.

(6) Only items specified in the points of dispute may be raised at the hearing, unless the court gives permission.

(7) If an assessment is carried out at more than one hearing, then for the purposes of rule 52.4 time for appealing shall not start to run until the conclusion of the final hearing, unless the court orders otherwise.

(Practice Direction 47 specifies other documents which must be filed with the request for hearing and the length of notice which the court will give when it fixes a hearing date.)

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Provisional Assessment

47.15

(1) This rule applies to any detailed assessment proceedings commenced in the High Court or the County Court on or after 1 April 2013 in which the costs claimed are the amount set out in paragraph 14.1 of the practice direction supplementing this Part, or less.

(2) In proceedings to which this rule applies, the parties must comply with the procedure set out in Part 47 as modified by paragraph 14 Practice Direction 47.

(3) The court will undertake a provisional assessment of the receiving party’s costs on receipt of Form N258 and the relevant supporting documents specified in Practice Direction 47.

(4) The provisional assessment will be based on the information contained in the bill and supporting papers and the contentions set out in Precedent G (the points of dispute and any reply).

(5) In proceedings which do not go beyond provisional assessment, the maximum amount the court will award to any party as costs of the assessment (other than the costs of drafting the bill of costs) is £1,500 together with any VAT thereon and any court fees paid by that party.

(6) The court may at any time decide that the matter is unsuitable for a provisional assessment and may give directions for the matter to be listed for hearing. The matter will then proceed under rule 47.14 without modification.

(7) When a provisional assessment has been carried out, the court will send a copy of the bill, as provisionally assessed, to each party with a notice stating that any party who wishes to challenge any aspect of the provisional assessment must, within 21 days of the receipt of the notice, file and serve on all other parties a written request for an oral hearing. If no such request is filed and served within that period, the provisional assessment shall be binding upon the parties, save in exceptional circumstances.

(8) The written request referred to in paragraph (7) must –

(a) identify the item or items in the court’s provisional assessment which are sought to be reviewed at the hearing; and

(b) provide a time estimate for the hearing.

(9) The court then will fix a date for the hearing and give at least 14 days’ notice of the time and place of the hearing to all parties.

(10) Any party which has requested an oral hearing, will pay the costs of and incidental to that hearing unless –

(a) it achieves an adjustment in its own favour by 20% or more of the sum provisionally assessed; or

(b) the court otherwise orders.

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V INTERIM COSTS CERTIFICATE AND FINAL COSTS CERTIFICATE

Power to issue an interim certificate

47.16

(1) The court may at any time after the receiving party has filed a request for a detailed assessment hearing –

(a) issue an interim costs certificate for such sum as it considers appropriate; or

(b) amend or cancel an interim certificate.

(2) An interim certificate will include an order to pay the costs to which it relates, unless the court orders otherwise.

(3) The court may order the costs certified in an interim certificate to be paid into court.

(4) Where the court –

(a) issues an interim costs certificate; or

(b) amends or cancels an interim certificate,

in detailed assessment proceedings pursuant to an order under section 194(3) of the 2007 Act, the receiving party must send a copy of the interim costs certificate or the order amending or cancelling the interim costs certificate to the prescribed charity.

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Final costs certificate

47.17

(1) In this rule a ‘completed bill’ means a bill calculated to show the amount due following the detailed assessment of the costs.

(2) The period for filing the completed bill is 14 days after the end of the detailed assessment hearing.

(3) When a completed bill is filed the court will issue a final costs certificate and serve it on the parties to the detailed assessment proceedings.

(4) Paragraph (3) is subject to any order made by the court that a certificate is not to be issued until other costs have been paid.

(5) A final costs certificate will include an order to pay the costs to which it relates, unless the court orders otherwise.

(Practice Direction 47 deals with the form of a final costs certificate.)

(6) Where the court issues a final costs certificate in detailed assessment proceedings pursuant to an order under section 194(3) of the 2007 Act, the receiving party must send a copy of the final costs certificate to the prescribed charity.

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VI DETAILED ASSESSMENT PROCEDURE FOR COSTS OF A LSC FUNDED CLIENT OR AN ASSISTED PERSON WHERE COSTS ARE PAYABLE OUT OF THE COMMUNITY LEGAL SERVICE FUND

Detailed assessment procedure where costs are payable out of the Community Legal Services Fund

47.18

(1) Where the court is to assess costs of a LSC funded client or an assisted person which are payable out of the Community Legal Services Fund, that person’s solicitor may commence detailed assessment proceedings by filing a request in the relevant practice form.

(2) A request under paragraph (1) must be filed within 3 months after the date when the right to detailed assessment arose.

(3) The solicitor must also serve a copy of the request for detailed assessment on the LSC funded client or the assisted person, if notice of that person’s interest has been given to the court in accordance with community legal service or legal aid regulations.

(4) Where the solicitor has certified that the LSC funded client or that person wishes to attend an assessment hearing, the court will, on receipt of the request for assessment, fix a date for the assessment hearing.

(5) Where paragraph (3) does not apply, the court will, on receipt of the request for assessment provisionally assess the costs without the attendance of the solicitor, unless it considers that a hearing is necessary.

(6) After the court has provisionally assessed the bill, it will return the bill to the solicitor.

(7) The court will fix a date for an assessment hearing if the solicitor informs the court, within 14 days after receiving the provisionally assessed bill, that the solicitor wants the court to hold such a hearing.

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Detailed assessment procedure where costs are payable out of a fund other than the community legal service fund

47.19

(1) Where the court is to assess costs which are payable out of a fund other than the Community Legal Service Fund, the receiving party may commence detailed assessment proceedings by filing a request in the relevant practice form.

(2) A request under paragraph (1) must be filed within 3 months after the date when the right to detailed assessment arose.

(3) The court may direct that the party seeking assessment serve a copy of the request on any person who has a financial interest in the outcome of the assessment.

(4) The court will, on receipt of the request for assessment, provisionally assess the costs without the attendance of the receiving party, unless the court considers that a hearing is necessary.

(5) After the court has provisionally assessed the bill, it will return the bill to the receiving party.

(6) The court will fix a date for an assessment hearing if the receiving party informs the court, within 14 days after receiving the provisionally assessed bill, that the receiving party wants the court to hold such a hearing.

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VII COSTS OF DETAILED ASSESSMENT PROCEEDINGS

Liability for costs of detailed assessment proceedings

47.20

(1) The receiving party is entitled to the costs of the detailed assessment proceedings except where –

(a) the provisions of any Act, any of these Rules or any relevant practice direction provide otherwise; or

(b) the court makes some other order in relation to all or part of the costs of the detailed assessment proceedings.

(2) Paragraph (1) does not apply where the receiving party has pro bono representation in the detailed assessment proceedings but that party may apply for an order in respect of that representation under section 194(3) of the 2007 Act.

(3) In deciding whether to make some other order, the court must have regard to all the circumstances, including –

(a) the conduct of all the parties;

(b) the amount, if any, by which the bill of costs has been reduced; and

(c) whether it was reasonable for a party to claim the costs of a particular item or to dispute that item.

(4) The provisions of Part 36 apply to the costs of detailed assessment proceedings with the following modifications –

(a) ‘claimant’ refers to ‘receiving party’ and ‘defendant’ refers to ‘paying party’;

(b) ‘trial’ refers to ‘detailed assessment hearing’;

(c) in rule 36.9(5), at the end insert ‘or, where the Part 36 offer is made in respect of the detailed assessment proceedings, after the commencement of the detailed assessment hearing.’;

(d) for rule 36.11(7) substitute ‘If the accepted sum is not paid within 14 days or such other period as has been agreed the offeree may apply for a final costs certificate for the unpaid sum.’;

(e) a reference to ‘judgment being entered’ is to the completion of the detailed assessment, and references to a ‘judgment’ being advantageous or otherwise are to the outcome of the detailed assessment.

(5) The court will usually summarily assess the costs of detailed assessment proceedings at the conclusion of those proceedings.

(6) Unless the court otherwise orders, interest on the costs of detailed assessment proceedings will run from the date of default, interim or final costs certificate, as the case may be.

(7) For the purposes of rule 36.14, detailed assessment proceedings are to be regarded as an independent claim.

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VIII APPEALS FROM AUTHORISED COURT OFFICERS IN DETAILED ASSESSMENT PROCEEDINGS

Right to appeal

47.21  Any party to detailed assessment proceedings may appeal against a decision of an authorised court officer in those proceedings.

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Court to hear appeal

47.22  An appeal against a decision of an authorised court officer lies to a costs judge or a district judge of the High Court.

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Appeal procedure

47.23

(1) The appellant must file an appeal notice within 21 days after the date of the decision against which it is sought to appeal.

(2) On receipt of the appeal notice, the court will –

(a) serve a copy of the notice on the parties to the detailed assessment proceedings; and

(b) give notice of the appeal hearing to those parties.

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Powers of the court on appeal

47.24  On an appeal from an authorised court officer the court will –

(a) re-hear the proceedings which gave rise to the decision appealed against; and

(b) make any order and give any directions as it considers appropriate.

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Footnotes

  1. 1838 c.110. Section 17 was amended by the Civil Procedure Acts Repeal Act 1879 (c.59) section 2, Schedule Part I; Statute Law Revision (no 2) Act 1888 (c. 57); S.I. 1993/564 article 2; S.I. 1998/2940 article 3(a), (c). Back to text
  2. 1984 c.28. Section 5A was inserted by the Private International Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1995 (c.42) section 2. Back to text

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