Court of Protection Costs Assessment

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Court of Protection Costs Assessment

The Court of Protection in England and Wales is a specialist court established to make decisions on financial or welfare matters for protected parties and individuals who lack the mental capacity to make those decisions for themselves.

The general management costs incurred by a Property and Affairs Deputy are to be assessed on an annual basis (annual management). The general management period is set by the original Court Order appointing the professional deputy.

Fixed costs can be elected to be taken. However, in more sizeable cases involving substantial net assets of the Protected Person, it is preferential for costs to be assessed.

In assessing costs, the Court requires the preparation of a 3-column Bill of Costs, for submission to the Senior Courts Costs Office (SCCO) alongside your file of papers.

On submission of the Bill of Costs for assessment with the relevant request, alongside the file of papers, the SCCO will proceed to conduct a Court of Protection detailed assessment by hand, and will return a hard copy of the Bill showing manually calculated figures for the Professional Deputy to approve. On agreement of the figures, a Final Costs Certificate will be sent to the Court for sealing, upon receipt of which the balance of legal costs due to the Professional Deputy can be deducted from the Protected Person’s funds.

Inevitably, this can be a very time consuming and costly process, the Professional Deputy’s time for which is unrecoverable as costs.


What is Electronic Filing and When Does This Apply?

From 20 January 2020, the publication Electronic Working in the Senior Courts Costs Office’ stipulates that in all Court of Protection costs assessments, as well as Bills of Costs submitted in Legal Aid and Criminal Appeals, require mandatory electronic submissions utilising the CE-File process.

This was intended to dispose of paper documentation being submitted in Court of Protection cost assessments, and expedite the processing of Bills of Costs and sealing by the Court.

The general rule is that electronic Bills must be submitted in an Excel and PDF format

From November 2022 to March 2023, a successful pilot scheme was conducted for the use of e-bills in Court of Protection cases.

E-bills can continue to be filed with the SCCO, but traditional paper bills are still accepted. For general management bills, the year covered by the bill should be stated at the beginning. All bills must include the title of the matter, the name and address of the firm, a contact number, and the matter reference.

For bills with profit costs under £3,000.00, excluding VAT and disbursements, the Deputy may choose to prepare a short form bill of costs for assessment.

Court of Protection Costs Assessment Process

The Court of Protection costs assessment process involves the detailed examination of legal costs incurred in proceedings related to individuals who lack mental capacity. This process ensures that the costs claimed by solicitors and deputies are reasonable and proportionate. Here is an overview of the key steps and aspects of the costs assessment process:

Submission of Bills

Legal representatives, such as solicitors or deputies, prepare detailed bills of costs for the work done. These bills itemise the services provided and the corresponding charges. There are different types of bills, including detailed bills, short form bills, and e-bills. The type of bill prepared depends on the amount of costs and specific requirements of the case.

Filing with the Senior Courts Costs Office (SCCO)

With the introduction of e-bills, many bills are now filed electronically. However, traditional paper bills can still be submitted.

Bills must include specific information, such as the title of the matter, the name and address of the firm, the contact number, the matter reference, and the period covered by the bill.

Provisional assessment

A costs officer at the SCCO reviews the submitted bill provisionally. This involves checking the items claimed and making any necessary adjustments. The parties involved are notified of the provisional assessment. If they agree with the assessment, the process can conclude at this stage.

Detailed Assessment Hearing

If there are disagreements with the provisional assessment, either party can request a detailed assessment hearing. During the hearing, both parties present their arguments regarding the costs. The costs judge examines the bill in detail, considering the necessity and reasonableness of each item claimed. The costs judge issues a final decision on the bill, making any adjustments deemed necessary.

Payment of Assessed Costs

After the assessment, a certificate of costs is issued, confirming the amount payable. The assessed costs are then paid by the responsible party, typically from the funds of the individual who lacks capacity.

Short Form Bills

For bills with profit costs under £3,000 (excluding VAT and disbursements), deputies can opt for a short form bill of costs. This is a simplified and quicker assessment process.


If there is a dispute over the costs assessment, parties have the right to appeal the decision. The appeal is usually heard by a higher court or a different judge within the SCCO.


The costs must be proportionate to the work done and the complexity of the case. The costs assessment ensures that the charges are fair and in the best interests of the individual lacking capacity, protecting their financial resources.

How Can the ARC Costs Team Assist?

The ARC Costs team specialise in preparing and submitting Court of Protection Bills of Costs, and can be contacted via email at, or by telephone on 01204 397302. For more information on legal costs, please find out more about our speciality areas of expertise on our legal costs page.

ARC Costs specialise in the full spectrum of legal costs work and are able to provide a range of drafting, negotiation, assessment and costs recovery services. To find out more, complete our no-obligation contact form below, and one of the team will respond on the same day.

Request Your Free Quotation

Contact us today for your free, no obligation quotation. Our team are on hand to help.


4 Bark Street East, Bolton, BL1 2BQ

01204 397302

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