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Costs query

(19 Posts)
samanthamplified Fri 24-Feb-17 11:09:51

Hi,

I'm a LiP.

Had costs ordered against me - "costs to be assessed if not agreed" and "full schedule of costs to be served by XX XX XXXX"

The other party did not file and serve a N260 Stat of Costs before the hearing - just a Form H

Now they've sent me a N260 and are demanding payment

This is not how it works, surely?

How do I respond? Do I just say I don't agree with your costs claimed?

Or shall I apply that if they don't do it properly (right form) within 7 days, costs are disallowed, I mean the court deadline has now passed...

Thanks

eurochick Fri 24-Feb-17 11:18:46

Has it actually been ordered by the court or is it just a draft order the other side has sent?

samanthamplified Fri 24-Feb-17 13:45:54

It's been ordered by the court

kirinm Fri 24-Feb-17 13:58:32

Yes. To be assessed means that if you can't negotiate out of court, they can prepare a formal Bill of Costs and prepare for a detailed assessment hearing - where a judge will assess costs. So for now, negotiate. You do not have to pay them exactly what they're claiming.

Look at the rates they're charging. Grade A, B, C or D. Check the court hourly rate website - Google. It'll tell you what hourly rate each grade of solicitor is entitled to charge depending on the court and / or the Defendant's location.

You can find out what grade someone is by looking at the 'find a solicitor' website. Grade A = 8 years post qualification experience, Grade B = 4 years PQE etc etc.

You get to negotiate and you can make offers pursuant to Part 36. Evaluate the work they claim to have done and how long it ought to have taken them. It's pretty hard given you're a LiP but it's how the court will deal with it.

samanthamplified Fri 24-Feb-17 14:41:16

Hi,

Thanks.

But are they in breach of the court order for not serving a full schedule of costs as the order says?

I will now try and negotiate

samanthamplified Fri 24-Feb-17 14:49:04

Also, someone told me I could simply apply to court and ask for costs to be disallowed if they don't serve a bill of costs within 7 days - as they're now past the order deadline...

Is that true?

kirinm Fri 24-Feb-17 17:37:00

I'm not sure what an N260 is? Is it a statement of costs?

kirinm Fri 24-Feb-17 17:40:21

If they're in breach of the order you could apply at your own cost and risk. If what they've served is not what you're supposed to have received then you could make an application but make sure you're right otherwise you're looking at paying their costs of the application as well.

I don't think there is a format for a schedule of costs but I could be wrong.

andintothefire Fri 24-Feb-17 22:00:11

Have a look at Part 47 for the rules on bills of costs and detailed assessment:
www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part-47-procedure-for-detailed-assessment/practice-direction-46-costs-special-cases2

Essentially, there is a requirement to serve a bill of costs. A form N260 is normally used in advance of a hearing where summary assessment is sought at the hearing. If no proper statement of costs is filed in advance then detailed assessment is ordered. In that case, a bill of costs is required and it must include the matters set out in the relevant paragraphs of Part 47.

I concur with the advice to make an offer on their costs if possible. A general rule of thumb is that a person can expect to recover about 60% of their costs on a standard assessment basis. However in reality it will be necessary to look at factors such as the guideline hourly rates and whether the amount of time spent on any particular task was reasonable.

samanthamplified Mon 27-Feb-17 09:57:09

As I understand, they need to serve a Precedent A format schedule of costs

They haven't, so can I just ignore their demands?

kirinm Mon 27-Feb-17 11:46:38

I don't think you should ignore it. It would be reasonable for you to write to them and tell them you don't think they've complied with the order but bear in mind, you'll pay for them to have that formal bill prepared.

The form you've referred to is a 'model'. Doesn't have to be followed but it usually is.

You could put them on notice of an application but I don't know what your prospects in an application would be. Under Part 47.7 of the CPR, a party is allowed months to commence detailed assessment from the date of judgment. If I was defending an application, I'd argue 7 days for a full bill isn't reasonable and that the CPR should be followed.

Basically, I think you should start to negotiate rather than do nothing and incur further costs.

samanthamplified Mon 27-Feb-17 11:50:46

Sounds like wise, thanks that's what I'll do.

I just thought since the order gave an actual deadline, they had to comply accordingly...

babybarrister Mon 27-Feb-17 13:12:20

I really would recommend you take some legal advice now

samanthamplified Mon 27-Feb-17 14:04:17

I know, but can't afford it...

prh47bridge Mon 27-Feb-17 18:31:50

Can you really afford not to take legal advice?

samanthamplified Mon 27-Feb-17 21:14:42

Seriously, I can't...

The case isn't over, not even half way...I need money for the actual case hearings to try and win hopefully

I can't afford to spend on costs lawyers...

babybarrister Tue 28-Feb-17 09:23:03

We are referring to taking general advice in order to avoid further costs orders against you ...

samanthamplified Tue 28-Feb-17 11:42:31

I am taking advice as and when I need to for the case as whole

But, I'm really hoping to not have to pay for advice on paying less costs

The order clearly states "to be assessed if not agreed" - so if I say I don't agree, then they have to get them assesses? Correct?

Also, can they enforce their costs claimed without us agreeing on the sum?

Do they need a costs certificate first?

Surely that would be in breach of the court order...

kirinm Tue 28-Feb-17 14:29:46

A Bill of Costs usually comes with a Notice of Commencement (of assessment proceedings) and you have (I think) 21 days to file 'points of dispute'. If you fail to file POD, they can apply for a default costs certificate.

Read Part 47 of the CPR.

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