High Cost Case Plan: Case Study


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The team at ARC Costs regularly assist in the drafting of High Cost Case Plans (HCCP) for Legal Aid cases.


What is a High Cost Case Plan?

High Cost Case Plans are used within Very High Costs Cases under the Care Case Fee Scheme (CCFS) or as Detailed (Fully Costed) Family Case Plans. A case will be considered high cost when the costs are predicted to exceed £25,000.

Under a High Cost Case Plan, the Legal Aid Agency and the Solicitor agree upon a budget for the case, which sets out the maximum amount of funding that will be available. The Solicitor must then manage the case within this budget, providing regular updates to the Legal Aid agency on the progress of the case and the costs incurred.

The use of HCCPs is intended to provide a more flexible and cost-effective approach to funding complex cases under the legal aid system, while also ensuring that Legal Aid is available to those who need it most.

Whilst in care/supervision cases utilising the CCFS structure, high costs are calculated based on Events, each of which come with a fixed fee dependant upon the complexity of the case, specifically the number of final hearing days that apply (including Finding of Fact dates), and whether the Solicitor is conducting any of the advocacy themselves.

Family cases however, are typically costed under the traditional hourly rates approach, for which costs incurred to date are capped at £25,000, and thereafter estimates are calculated for future work to be completed.


How ARC Costs Recently Assisted in a Very High Costs Case

The Legal Aid costs team at ARC Costs recently assisted on a case in which the level of costs exceeded £165,530 plus VAT.

The case was with regards to defending two sets of care proceedings brought by the local authority in relation to five children. The case was being defended by the children’s mother and maternal grandmother.

One of the children died when life support was discontinued, and both sets of care proceedings arose as the result of the circumstances surrounding the child’s death.

The child suffered one or more collapses/episodes of loss of consciousness at the home of the maternal grandparents days before his death. The Police commenced a criminal investigation into his death and the maternal grandparents home was treated as a crime scene. All five children were placed in Police protection.

The two sets of children were placed in separate foster placements. The Applicant sought interim care orders in relation to all five children and the Court’s authorisation for the continued removal from parental care whilst investigations into the cause of the child’s death continued and assessments were undertaken.

The matter was approved by the Legal Aid Agency to be a Very High Costs Case from a specific date within the case and prior authority was given for the instruction of two Counsel, including Queen’s Counsel.

Due to the complexity of the case, the Court extended the statutory timetable to enable the Court to resolve the proceedings justly.

Reports from a number of experts, including a Consultant Paediatric Radiologist, a Consultant Paediatric Haematologist, and a Consultant Paediatric Neuropathologist. The total expert fees amounted to £12,567.14 plus VAT.

Both Queens Counsel and Junior Counsel were required for a 5 week Fact Finding Hearing. The total Counsel fees amounted to £113,454 plus VAT.The total cost of the solicitor fees amounted to £50,076.55 plus VAT.

The VHCC was ultimately approved and on conclusion of proceedings, a final case plan was submitted to account for some additional Events, and the Solicitor’s costs were ultimately recovered in full.


How can ARC Costs Assist?

The team of knowledgeable Costs Lawyers and Costs Draftsmen at ARC Costs can assist clients with a variety of costs matters, including Very High Costs Case and High Costs Case Plans.

In legal aid funded matters, we can produce the required costing instruments and obtain an assessment of costs from the LAA. Furthermore, due to our extensive experience in the costs law industry, we can be trusted to provide reliable advice.

To find out more about how we can provide you with assistance, please contact us at 01204 397302. Alternatively, please use our free chat facility to speak to an expert directly regarding High Cost Case Plans.



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01204 397302


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