High Court Costs: Recovery and Negotiation

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What is the High Court?

Within the UK, the High Court is the third highest Court. Above this is the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. There are three divisions within the High Court; the Queens Bench Division, the Family Division and the Chancery Division. Civil matters would be classified under the Queens Bench Division.

The High Court handles complex civil matters and appeals in respect of decisions made in lower Courts. Although the High Court is based at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, there are many District Registries throughout England and Wales where High Court proceedings can be issued and heard.

The High Court Judges that rule over High Court matters have been appointed to review difficult matters which may require experience. In order to be appointed as a High Court Judge, you must be recommended and receive appointment by the Queen.


Appeals within the High Court

To appeal within the High Court, a good reason needs to be provided. In most cases, permission to appeal is required and any reasoning will be considered when permission is being sought on the papers. Furthermore, it is imperative that the likelihood of success is considered when preparing an appeal. This is because you may still incur Court fees, even if your matter is refused.

If you are appealing a decision made by a Circuit Judge in the County Court, then the appeal matter will be allocated to the High Court. Alternatively, if you are appealing a decision made by a Judge in the High Court, the Court of Appeal or Supreme Court will be where the matter is dealt with.

In the event that a party would like to appeal a decision made by the Court, they must proceed time-efficiently. An appellant’s notice is required and must be filed within the time frame set by the Judge who made the decision that you are appealing against. In matters where no time limit has been set, the appellants notice must be filed within 21 days of the decision. Alongside the notice, the party must also pay a £240 Court fee.

At this point it is helpful to seek legal advice as small errors within your case could jeopardise the appeal.


High Court Costs : Assessment of Costs within the High Court

Upon conclusion of any mater heard in the High Court, the costs consequences will need to be considered and awarded to the necessary party.

High Court costs can vary and it may be necessary to prepare a Bill of Costs when an order for detailed assessment is made. This is a legal costs document which details the work completed during a case. In addition, this document will highlight the hourly rates for the solicitors and legal representatives working on the case. This allows the total costs to be calculated within the bill, whilst also allowing scrutiny of all individual items incurred. It is vital that an experienced Law Costs Draftsman or Costs Lawyer is instructed to prepare this document as it is scrutinized closely by the opposing party, and potentially by the Court if proceeding to an assessment hearing.

The bill of costs should be served upon the paying party within 3 months of receipt of a Court Order (with a Notice of Commencement).  Points of Dispute and Points of Reply often follow and are used to outline the legal arguments as to the recoverable costs (with a view to proceeding to assessment), and often assist in narrowing the issues to negotiate costs. If a decision as to legal costs cannot be reached, a Detailed Assessment Hearing may be required where the Court will determine the amount of costs payable.


How can ARC Costs Assist with Costs Within the High Court?

We are a trusted and experienced team of expert Costs Draftsman and Costs Lawyers who specialise in the production and negotiation of a variety of legal costs documents. These include Bills of Costs, Costs Budgets, Points of Dispute and Replies to Points of Dispute.

As independent costs experts, we can assist either the Paying Party or the Receiving Party.

In High Court matters where Bills of Costs are required, we are frequently instructed to produce comprehensive and accurate bills. In order to allow matters to proceed swiftly, we produce our Bills of Costs within 10 days.

If you would like to find out more about how we can assist you with your High Court costs, please contact us through our free chat facility or telephone us at 01204 397302

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