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Section 33 & 34

The cost of legal proceedings represents a large part of the Board’s outgoings. Over 80% of the work we do is in family law. In family law, the normal rule is that both sides pay their own costs.

This is different to almost all other types of civil cases, where “costs follow the event” – the loser pays both sides costs. This being the case, it is important that we are able to seek to recover our costs.

There are two aspects to the recovery of costs:

  • from the other party to the dispute (either via an award of costs in Court or an agreement as to costs)
  • from a legally aided person.

This part of the Circular sets out the position in relation to the recovery of our costs and of statutory obligations on solicitors to ensure that we recover our costs. The relevant sections are 33 and 34 of the Act and, in particular, Section 33 (7) and (8).

The cost may be recovered as a result of the provision of legal aid or legal advice only.

The term “money” includes damages in accordance with Section 33(7).