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How costs are calculated

The costs to be recovered from the other party may be agreed between the parties. If the parties cannot agree costs may be decided by a Taxing Master[1] or the County Registrar.  Where the costs are to be agreed, Legal Services will have an input into the amount. It must be remembered however that the costs are the client’s costs. If there is likely to be a solicitor client charge in addition to the party / party costs it is particularly important that client consent is obtained to any settlement of the party / party costs and that prior to the settlement of those costs the client is aware of the amount of costs to be deducted on a solicitor / client basis.

When advising the client in this regard you must inform the client of his or her right to seek to have the costs taxed (assessed) by the County Registrar / Taxing Master. In default of agreement, the matter will be referred, where necessary, to cost drawers for the purpose of preparing a bill of costs or in certain cases the solicitor may be able to present the bill of costs to the County Registrar / Taxing Master.

In determining whether to proceed with the recovery of some or all of the costs from the other  party, Legal Services will have regard to:

  • the nature of the proceedings;
  • the resources of the other party, including the likelihood of the recovery of costs;
  • the actual cost incurred; and
  • the level of fees to be paid to barristers. 

In non-family law cases solicitors/Counsel should always seek their costs if judgement is in their client’s favour.

[1] A Taxing Master is an officer of the Superior Courts that assesses the costs of legal actions. When Part 10 of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 is commenced they will be renamed as Legal Costs Adjudicators.