CPR 54: Judicial Review Procedure and Legal Costs

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What is a Judicial Review?

Judicial review is a category within Public Law whereby the Courts are asked to scrutinise the legality of decisions made by public entities.

The Administrative Court, a branch of the High Court, handles judicial reviews, statutory appeals, and extradition cases.

Pre-action work is required to initiate the judicial review process, followed by an application for permission, where the court must be persuaded that the claim is likely to succeed. If permission is initially denied, the applicant can request an oral hearing to renew their application. Upon obtaining permission, they can then prepare for the comprehensive Judicial Hearing.


CPR 54: Judicial Review Procedure

CPR 54 outlines the procedures and requirements for seeking permission to proceed with a claim for judicial review. It includes rules regarding the filing of claim forms, detailed grounds for contesting the claim, and the necessary documents for taking part in the judicial review process.

A claim for judicial review must be filed promptly, as the time limit for filing a claim is no later than three months after the grounds for the claim arose. However, specific cases such as decisions under planning acts or governed by the Public Contracts Regulations have different deadlines, such as six weeks or a period consistent with the economic operator’s deadline​​.

When completing the claim form, the Claimant should include details such as the name and address of any interested party, the fact that the claimant is requesting permission to proceed, and any remedy being claimed, including interim remedies​​. It must be served on the defendant and any interested parties within 7 days after the date of issue​​.

Details of what should be included in the claim form are found under CPR 54.29:

CPR 54.29

“(1) In addition to the matters set out in rule 8.2 (contents of the claim form) the claimant must also state—

(a)the name of the public authority, the defendant, against whom the claim for environmental review is brought;

(b)the name and address of any person the claimant considers to be an interested party; and

(c)any remedy (including any interim remedy) sought by the claimant.

(2) The claim form must be accompanied by the documents required by Practice Direction 54E.”

Rules for responding to a claim form are found under CPR 54.14:

CPR 54.14

(1) A defendant and any other person served with the claim form who wishes to contest the claim or support it on additional grounds must file and serve –

(a) detailed grounds for contesting the claim or supporting it on additional grounds; and

(b) any written evidence,

within 35 days after service of the order giving permission.

(2) The following rules do not apply –

(a) rule 8.5 (3) and 8.5 (4)(defendant to file and serve written evidence at the same time as acknowledgment of service); and

(b) rule 8.5 (5) and 8.5(6) (claimant to file and serve any reply within 14 days).

Any person served with the claim form, must file an acknowledgment of service within 21 days after service using the relevant practice form.

If the person filing it intends to contest the claim, they should provide a summary of grounds for contesting the claim.

Rules for failure to provide acknowledgment of service can be found under CPR 54.9.

Failure to file an acknowledgment of service can restrict participation in permission hearings unless the Court allows it. However, such a person can take part in the judicial review hearing if they comply with rule 54.14, which includes filing detailed grounds for contesting the claim and any written evidence within 35 days after service of the order granting permission​​.

If the claimant wishes to rely on additional grounds not originally granted permission, they must obtain the Court’s permission​​. Written evidence can only be relied upon if it has been served according to the rules or court direction, or if the court has given permission​​.

Part 30 transfer applies to the claim, meaning the Court can order the claim to continue as if it had not been started under CPR 54, and give directions about its future management​​.

If a person in receipt of a claim form has failed to provide acknowledgement of service, this will be taken into account by the Court when making a decision in regards to legal costs.


CPR 54: Judicial Review Costs

Typically, if a judicial review claim is resolved during the Pre-Action phase, the legal costs are not recoverable. However, legal aid is often available for judicial review proceedings. If the court decides to make an order as to costs, it may require the defendant to compensate the claimant’s expenses, subject to assessment if no agreement is reached.

In such instances, the contract with the Legal Aid Agency serves as the basis for the claimant’s legal team to recover costs from the opposing party, replacing the need for a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) or a private contract.

In circumstances where the Respondent does not acknowledge the Letter before Action and the Applicant initiates proceedings which are then granted permission to proceed to a Judicial Review, the Applicant becomes entitled to recover their legal costs if the claim is settled or a successful outcome is achieved in the Judicial Review proceedings.

The Applicant would need to draft and submit a Bill of Costs to the party responsible for payment, to reclaim their legal costs and disbursements incurred during the proceedings.

Solicitors’ time is billable at an hourly rate for recoverable costs in Judicial Review cases. These costs tend to be substantial at the early stages due to the necessity of compiling court bundles, creating reading lists, and conducting extensive research on current legal precedents before litigation begins.

The preparatory work for a Judicial Review claim parallels that required for trial preparation in other legal actions. Moreover, it is possible to reclaim Tribunal or Court fees, as well as additional outlays like Counsel fees for preparing Detailed Grounds or for representation at hearings.

Our Costs Draftsmen and Costs Lawyers regularly prepare and submit Bills of Costs in judicial review cases. We can further assist in the negotiation of your bill of costs should the Paying Party submit Points of Dispute contesting the costs listed within your Bill.

If an agreement as to costs cannot be reached, our Costs Lawyers would be happy to represent your case at a Detailed Assessment Hearing.


Recovering Judicial Review Costs in Legal Aid Cases

In Judicial Review proceedings, Claimants may be eligible for Legal Aid if they meet certain criteria. For most cases funded this way, solicitors are expected to recover their costs and expenses paid by the Legal Aid Agency if no inter-partes costs order is made, or if permission to proceed is refused.

Occasionally, costs are assessed inter partes instead.

When claiming costs from the Legal Aid Agency, solicitors are expected to use the CCMS System to file their costs, providing either interim or final billing details.

Solicitors must adhere to the LAA’s billing rules, and cost specialists can help ensure accurate submissions.  If permission is neither given or refused, and the Judicial Review claim form is withdrawn, permission is required from the LAA to reclaim costs, before any bill is submitted.

Our Legal Aid Costs Draftsmen can assist you with this to ensure everything is submitted correctly.

Our legal aid experts regularly use the CCMS system to submit legal aid costs claims and deal with all the administration on behalf of our clients and to free up the time of fee earners, thereby ensuring you can recover your maximum legal aid fees in an expeditious and efficient manner.


How can we Assist with your CPR 54 Costs?

If you require any free initial advice, or our assistance with regards to any aspect of CPR 54 Judicial Review costs, please do not hesitate to contact us via the Contact Form below and one of the team will get in touch on the same working day.

We provide a Costs Draftsman service with over 20 years of experience amongst our team, and focus on the recovery of costs payable by a paying party and costs awards to a receiving party in any legal matter through the preparation of Costs Budgets (Precedent H), Statements of Costs (N260) and preparing Bills of Costs. 

We also provide costs negotiation and advocacy services for detailed assessment in all legal matters, and assist with the recovery of inter-partes costs in publicly funded matters, as well as the recovery of legal costs from the Legal Aid Agency.

If you are looking for a qualified Costs Draftsman or Costs Lawyer, then the ARC Costs team are always happy to help with costs challenges.

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

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