Senior Court Costs Office

Our primary function is the detailed assessment of costs. This is the process of examining and if, necessary, reducing the bill of costs of a solicitor or litigant in person.  Costs include not only the solicitor’s own professional fees, but also disbursements incurred including barristers’ and experts’ fees.  

The purpose of detailed assessment is:

  • to determine how much costs a successful party in litigation is entitled to recover from his unsuccessful opponent
  • in publicly funded cases to determine the amount which a solicitor or barrister is to be paid out of public funds
  • under the Solicitors’ Act to determine how much a client should have to pay his solicitor.

Who assesses costs depends on the type of case and whether it is publicly funded.  We deal mainly with costs relating to all proceedings in:

  • the Chancery, Family and Queen’s Bench Divisions of the High Court,
  • the Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
  • the London County Court Group.

It also deals with costs in matters involving the Court of Protection, various tribunals and assessments transferred from other county courts and district registries.  It also deals with appeals against the determination of costs in the Crown Court

Costs are assessed by either Costs Judges (Masters) or Authorised Court Officers.

HM Courts & Tribunals Service


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