Legal Cost Specialists

Detailed assessment hearing date

I have just received a hearing date for a detailed assessment hearing in the Senior Courts Costs Office for a bill of costs of under £20,000. The hearing is listed for 25 February 2014.

For provisional assessment, PD 47 paragraph 14.4(1) states:

“On receipt of the request for detailed assessment and the supporting papers, the court will use its best endeavours to undertake a provisional assessment within 6 weeks.”

It is not clear how realistic this timescale will be in the SCCO (or any other court) but I wonder whether detailed assessment hearings are being listed in the distant future in an attempt to meet the 6 week timescale for provisional assessment.

That raises the interesting possibility that one might get a faster decision on a £70,000 bill requesting provisional in early January 2014 that requesting a detailed assessment now on a sub-£20,000 bill.

5 thoughts on “Detailed assessment hearing date”

  1. At the Hailsham Chambers talk last month, Joshua Munro suggested that Costs Officers at the SCCO could not conduct provisional assessments. Surely that is incorrect (and contrary to what one of the Costs Officers that I spoke to in March suggested). If they cannot, are not all of the Costs Officers out of a job ?

  2. surely, Simon, in these days of proportionality and co-operation, the answer is not to be so objectional to such small bills :p

  3. The point is this – The courts need to practice what they preach – they have no concept of the Overriding Objectives at all. How the hell can waiting 7 months for a hearing be reasonable!! The law is an Ass. Those who sit in glass houses comes to mind!!!

  4. Yes,you think the delays are bad now but
    Hailsham Chambers must have read CPR 47.3( Powers of Costs Officers ) and then seen their exclusion in Para 14.2 CPD

  5. I was before Costs Officer Martin last week who said that he was now being listed for February next year,had now undertaken 3 Provisional Assessments and that when planned hearings were settling he was being listed to do more Provisional Assessments rather than bringing forward Detailed hearings. Just been asked by Middlesbrough County Court to give availability in March for a 1 day hearing before the Regional Costs Judge. Leeds and Doncaster had 3 RCJs to do their work. Now there are none (2 Appointed Circuit Judges ,Robert Hill retired ). Costs comes at the bottom of the Judicial pecking order for listing purposes. There was a time when there was some merit in a transfer to SCCO for a quicker hearing– not any more ! Still with all these delays I will be a be to put off my re-training to become a refuse recycling operative (binman to you and me ) a bit longer .

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