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Can money or property recovered on behalf of a third party be charged?

Sometimes a client will look for a settlement or order where the money or property will be preserved, not for their own benefit, but for someone else’s – for example, to create a trust for their children under the age of 18. If this happens the question arises as to whether costs can still be recovered.

If you are dealing with a client who seeks such a settlement/order you must raise this in your application for legal aid. If the client raises the issue after legal aid is already granted you must apply to Legal Services for an amended certificate before seeking such a settlement/order.

If a Court decides to make an order conferring a benefit on a third party without any application to do so, we may look behind the order and examine the circumstances and the context in which the order was made and decide to recover our costs, if we think the applicant remains in effective control of the money or property concerned.

If, in a settlement, a person doesn’t recover or preserve money or property directly, but effectively remains in control of the money or property, we may recover our costs from that money or property.