Form N461: Judicial Review Costs Recovery


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What is a Judicial Review and Applying via Form N461

Judicial Review proceedings are initiated by way of filing of a Form N461 and fall under Public Law, involving the Court reviewing decisions made by public entities. The Administrative Court, which is a component of the High Court, handles cases related to judicial reviews, statutory appeals, and extradition matters.

The purpose of a judicial review is not to re-evaluate the merits of the decision itself but to assess whether the decision-making process was lawful and followed the correct legal procedures. It focuses on the legality, rationality, and procedural fairness of the decision rather than its substantive merits.

As a general rule, costs cannot be recovered if a judicial review case settles in the Pre-Action stage. Legal aid is available for many judicial review cases to facilitate access to justice. Costs in Judicial Review cases may be recovered from the Defendant in the event that the Courts award costs via an inter-partes costs orders, or if this has been agreed between the parties (most often by way of a Consent Order).

If you would like more information on recovering costs in legal aid matters, have a look at our recent article.


Applying for a Judicial Review

The judicial review process begins by submission of a pre-action letter (Letter before Action), and if no substantive response is received to the same, the next steps are to file a claim form with the Administrative Court, which is part of the High Court. The claim form sets out the details of your case, including the parties involved, the grounds for review, and the relief sought.

Following the completion of Form N461, the court must be persuaded that the case has a reasonable chance of success, and permission for judicial review will initially be considered on the papers. If the initial request for permission is denied, the application can be re-submitted for purposes of consideration at an oral permission hearing, albeit this comes at further cost and Court fees.

If permission is granted, either on the papers or at an oral review hearing, the court will typically set directions for case management to the judicial review hearing. This includes establishing timelines for submitting evidence, exchanging documents, and preparing for the hearing.


Judicial Review Costs

If the Respondent has failed to respond to your Letter before Action, proceedings have been issued with Form N461, and permission is granted to proceed to a Judicial Review, in the event that your claim is settled, the Claimant is entitled to recover their legal fees of the proceedings from the unsuccessful Defendant. As a result, a Bill of Costs will need to be prepared and submitted to the paying party to recover your legal costs and disbursements.

What Legal Costs are Recoverable in Judicial Review Proceedings?

The time spent by a solicitor is recoverable on an hourly rate basis. When it comes to Judicial Review proceedings, costs can be heavily concentrated in the early stages due to the preparation of Court bundles, reading lists, and extensive research on current legal precedents before initiating the litigation.  It is often considered that the work in issuing a Form N461 is akin to preparing for a Trial, given that the work of judicial review proceedings are very ‘front-loaded’ in order to prove a case with positive prospects to obtain permission to proceed to a final hearing.

Furthermore, you have the potential to recover Court fees incurred for the legal action, along with any other expenses incurred, including Counsel fees for drafting the Detailed Grounds, providing advice or being briefed for representation at hearings.

How Can ARC Costs Assist?

If you require any free initial advice or our assistance with regards to any aspect of your Judicial Review costs, please do not hesitate to contact our team of expert Costs Draftsman and Costs Lawyers via the Contact Form below, and one of our costs experts will get in touch.

Our team of Costs Draftsman and Lawyers cumulatively possess over 35 years’ experience in legal costs, and our team of independent experts can assist with either the costs recoverable by a Receiving Party, or in challenging the level of costs to be paid by a Paying Party.  Our services extend from providing early costs advice on any retainer documentation, to litigation work including the preparation of Costs Budgets (Precedent H), Statements of Costs (N260) and preparing Bills of Costs (both 3 column and electronic bills). 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.

Request Your Free Quotation

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


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