CPR 47: Commencing Detailed Assessment

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What is Detailed Assessment?


Following a judgment, the Judge will make an order for assessment of the amount of costs, subject to ‘Detailed Assessment’ if not agreed.

Detailed Assessment occurs where the paying party challenges the receiving party’s Bill of Costs. It is usually conducted in the County Court or High Court to determine the value of costs owed to the Receiving Party. 

Part 47 of the Civil Procedure Rules sets out the process of Detailed Assessment. 


When can Detailed Assessment Commence?


A party may have an order for Detailed Assessment, however, Detailed Assessment proceedings are not to be commenced until the conclusion of proceedings. However, the Court can order an immediate assessment (CPR 47.1). The Court can assess these costs immediately where there is no realistic prospect of the claim continuing.

“47.1 The general rule is that the costs of any proceedings or any part of the proceedings are not to be assessed by the detailed procedure until the conclusion of the proceedings, but the court may order them to be assessed immediately.”

Proceedings will be considered as ‘concluded’ if there is a judgment on the matter, the claim is discontinued or acceptance of a Part 36 offer. Detailed Assessment proceedings are not stayed when the claim is appealed, unless the Court orders otherwise pursuant to CPR 47.2. If the paying party wishes for the proceedings to be stayed, the application may be made to the Court whose order is being appealed or to the Court that will hear the appeal. 

The receiving party has 3 months after the date of judgment, discontinuance or acceptance of a Part 36 offer to commence Detailed Assessment proceedings. 


Sanctions for a Delay in Commencing Detailed Assessment Proceedings 


If the receiving party fails to commence Detailed Assessment proceedings within 3 months, the paying party may apply for an Order requiring the receiving party to commence proceedings within such time as the Court may specific (CPR 47.8). The Court then serve an unless order which states unless the receiving party commences Detailed Assessment proceedings within the time specified, all or part of the costs which the receiving party would be entitled, will be disallowed. 

If the paying party fails to make an application and the receiving party commences proceedings after 3 months, the Court may disallow all or part of the interest otherwise payable to the receiving party under s.17 of the Judgements Act 1838 or s.74 of the County Courts act 1984. The Court will not impose any other sanction except in accordance with CPR44.11 which relates to misconduct.


What Should be Included in the Application?


Practice Direction 47 (5.7) states the receiving part must serve:

– A notice of commencement which must include the total amount of costs claimed, the sum payable by way of fixed costs and Court fees if a default fixed costs certificate is obtained. 

– A copy of the Bill of Costs 

– Copies of the fee notes of Counsel and any expert in respect of fees claimed in the Bill

– Written evidence as to any other disbursement claimed which exceeds £500

– A statement providing the name and address for service of any person the receiving party intends to serve the notice of commencement upon

– If a cost order has been made, a breakdown of the costs claimed for each phase of proceedings.


Where Should the Application be Made?


CPR 47.4(1) refers to the ‘appropriate office’, this means the District Registry or County Court which gave the judgment, produced the order or to where the matter has been transferred. It application should also be made to the tribunal or other body who made the order for Detailed Assessment and in all other cases, the Costs Office. 

 The Court officers are authorised to assess costs in claims where the base costs do not exceed £35,000 in the case of Senior Executive Officers, or their equivalent, and £110,000 in the case of principal officers. 

In cases, where the paying party serves points of dispute and the parties can agree that the assessment should not be made by an authorised Court officer, then the receiving party should inform the Court of this when requesting a hearing date. The matter will then be listed before a Costs Judge or a District Judge.  

In any other case, where a party objects to the Court Officer conducting the assessment, the party must make an application to the Costs Judge or District Judge. This must be under Part 23 and the party must set out the reasons for the application. 


How Can ARC Costs Assist?

ARC Costs are highly experienced and have been successful in costs recovery in the majority of our dispute resolution cases. We can assist in recovering legal costs by drafting your Bill of costs, as well as Points of Reply and negotiating your Bill of Costs with the other side before advising on whether the claim should proceed to a Detailed Assessment Hearing.

We can be contacted via email at info@arccosts.co.uk, or by telephone on 01204 397302. For more information on legal costs, please find out more about our speciality areas of expertise and our services on our legal costs page.


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