Recommendations for improving your costs recovery in Court of Protection bills
Paramount Legal Costs are committed to assisting our many clients in maximising the recovery of their costs with the aim of increasing their profitability. You can assist us in that regard by following some if not all of the following recommendations:
Hourly rates in the case of Louise Smith & others
Master Haworth was asked to review his decision in Michael Ashton July 2006 and was able to rule that Court of Protection work should be allowed in accordance with the SCCO guideline hourly rates. We can advise you accordingly and this will ensure that your WIP costs are accurately reflected, your interim bills are justified and that you are reimbursed correctly. Should you wish to claim higher rates then the case must be exceptional and justified.
Please be clear and concise and state in detail why the attendance took place/why it was necessary. If there is likely to be any reason why a Costs Officer may reject or reduce the time please add further justification. Please remember also that a handwritten note is better than nothing providing of course that the handwriting is legible.
Whilst we have the expertise to estimate your time in certain situations, a Costs Officer at the SCCO may not be inclined to do so. It is important therefore that file notes accurately reflect the time spent to enhance the recovery of those costs. Please avoid cumulative or bulk time recording as this can cause difficulties.
Document work file notes
Please be clear and concise and if there is likely to be any reason why a costs officer may reject or reduce the time, please justify reasons why. Please remember also that a handwritten note is better than nothing providing of course that the handwriting is legible.
A Grade A Deputy cannot expect to recover all work associated with the case management. Please put yourself in the position of the costs officer who is unlikely to award Grade A rates for checking a bank statement etc. This type of work should be delegated to a Grade D if possible.
if you present your file in a neat chronological order this will greatly assist the costs officer and improve cost recovery.
By Alan Pickard, Costs Draftsman specialising in Court of Protection and Probate Costs