Legal Cost Specialists

Costs draftsmen basics

By on Nov 1, 2013 | 10 comments

Another useful, if basic, point from the Senior Courts Costs Office Guide 2013:

“It is standard practice for the client care letter (redacted where appropriate) to be shown to the paying party. The Court of Appeal has held that it should be the usual practice for a conditional fee agreement (redacted where appropriate) to be disclosed for the purpose of costs proceedings in which a success fee is claimed.”

I wish all law costs draftsmen and costs lawyers were taught this on day one.

    10 Comments

  1. When did it become standard practice to disclose a client care letter to the other side ? What planet are the SCCO on ?

    Ticklemebills

    1st November 2013

  2. Standard practice for the client care letter to be disclosed? This is not something I’ve come across.

    The CFA – fine – nothing controversial there…

    Charles Wheatcroft

    1st November 2013

  3. Oops, something I’ve *not* come across.

    I’m glad I’m not the only person to have a ‘drop my bacon sandwich’ moment…

    Charles Wheatcroft

    1st November 2013

  4. I agree with the other two. Never disclosed a client care letter or had one disclosed to me. I am only speaking from memory now but I think Hollins v Russell says no need to disclose client care letter but should disclose CFA, if there is one.

    John Allen

    1st November 2013

  5. You say “should disclose” a CFA but it has to be in context

    A “please disclose your CFA” request is declined. Bailey has to apply. There has to be reason to disclose otherwise you may as well just hand over the file for inspection

    abcde

    1st November 2013

  6. CFA yes – although I find that a lot of firms still will not.

    CCL – never had it disclosed to me (other than by mistake which made for an entertaining DAH).

    Ticklemebills

    1st November 2013

  7. If you are fully complient with 32.5 why is the CFA needed?

    abcde

    1st November 2013

  8. I had overlooked this anomalie when leading the guide. For a private retainer you have to raise a genuine issue to go be behind the signature on the bill (eg Ilangaratne v BMA [2005] EWHC 2096 (Ch) – seemed to have unusually high rates for a panel sol and transpired in a subsequent Judgment the rates claimed did breach the indemnity princuiple). Upon raising a genuine issue the paying party should either disclose redacted retainer document(s) or alternative evidence as to the retainer. If receiving party waits til the hearing to disclose they should be bear the costs of doing so (in my opinion).

    Similar position re: CFAs confirmed in Hollins except no need to raise a genuine issue.

    'king costs

    1st November 2013

  9. My understanding of what was behind Hollins was to enable the defendant to be sure the old CFA Regs had been complied with. Therefore I’m not sure there is any authority for disclose of post November 2005 CFAs.

    G-Unit

    7th November 2013

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