Floyd & Anor v Legal Services Commission  EWHC 906 (QB)
The Claimant sought possession for non-payment of rent and ultimately obtained a possession order. The tenant was granted legal aid so that he could appeal against the possession order, however, his appeal failed. A costs order was made in favour of the Claimant. The tenant’s public funding certificate was amended so that he could appeal to the Court of Appeal. However, this appeal was also dismissed with costs in favour of the Claimant and a further costs order was made. Further appeals were made by the tenant which were dismissed and a further costs order was made. The tenant was ultimately evicted from the Claimant’s property.
The Claimant presented her bill of costs to the Legal Services Commission. The Legal Services Commission contended that the bill had been served out of time and this was held by the Costs Judge, however he gave the Claimant permission to appeal on the grounds that this was “an extremely harsh and seemingly unfair result” for the Claimant.
An extension of time was sought by the Claimant on the basis that the discretion to extend time in the CPR could be applied to the time limits in the legal aid regulations.
It was held that the legal aid regulations were clear and that an order against the Legal Services Commission, outside the 3 month time limit, could only be made if there was good reason for the delay. However, no good reason had been advanced by the Claimant for the delay in presenting her bill of costs and in any event
there were no grounds for the grant of any extension of time. The appeal was dismissed.