The previous post reported on how summary assessment was conducted in a High Court case. This led me to look at the guidance that is available in relation to preparing a bill for summary assessment and also for hearing of the summary assessment itself. The assessment is normally done immediately after a trial or hearing. Unsurprisingly most of the preparation goes into the substantive application. What guidance is available to help advocates (for both sides) prepare and oppose bills upon assessment?
It will help to look at the observations of P.J. Kirby QC which I have taken from the comments section of this blog and put below the links.
Many of these posts/article go back a number of years. However this does not stop the points being made being valid.
- The Senior- Court Costs Office Guide to summary assessment is an essential starting point
- Clarion have a succinct summary of all the key points in a summary assessment
- Legal Costs Negotiators Ltd have a summary of recent case law on summary assessment
- This article by District Judge Letham on maximising costs on summary assessment is now 12 years old, but the points are still highly relevant
- There is an explanation of summary assessment in Jackson LJ’s 8th lecture in the implementation programme.
- Litigation Futures carries a report of a case where the costs were summarily assessed at £351,000
- The New Law Journal reports a case where the judge refused to summarily assess costs which were disproportionate.
I am certain that there are many other guides out there which I have missed. If anyone lets me know I will include a link.
VAT AND COSTS
The issue of VAT on costs often raises its head on summary assessments. Assistance is provided by the costs Team at Kings Chambers in Costs Law Brief
PJ Kirby Q.C. has put a comment below. To avoid it being missed I include it here.
“Having given a number of seminars about maximising the recovery of costs on summary assessment my number 1 tip would be same as DJ Lethem – make sure that counsel or any other advocate is properly briefed in relation to costs. What is the point of winning if your client still ends up considerably out of pocket because all your efforts were put into making sure that counsel was sufficiently briefed in relation to the substance of the application and only an afterthought was given to the question of how the costs are justifiable.”