Supreme Court Costs and Assessment of the Same

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What is the Supreme Court?

The Supreme Court is an appeal Court which deals with appeals from the Court of Appeal in England and Wales, the Court of Session in Scotland and the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland. The Court rules on Supreme Court costs are set out at The Supreme Court Rules 2009, rules 45-54.

There are strict limits on this Court’s jurisdiction, and in some cases, it is not possible to appeal to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court’s website has set out guidance on when a case cannot be appealed. For example, you cannot appeal where:

  1. The Court of Appeal or a Judge in the High Court or a County Court have refused to grant permission.
  2. The Court of Appeal or the High Court have refused to re-open an appeal or application for permission to appeal.
  3. Any decisions made by Tribunals, Magistrates or a Sheriff.


Costs in Obtaining Permission to Appeal


The Appellant is required to obtain permission to appeal from the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court. The application for permission is considered by an Appeal Panel, consisting of at least three Justices and are usually decided on paper, without a hearing. However, permission is only granted for applications that in the opinion of the justices, raise an arguable point of law or general public importance. Thus, the threshold that must be met is a high one. 

The application must be made within 28 days of the date of the decision against which the appeal is to be taken. The Supreme Court fees for filing an application for permission is £1,000. 

Where an unsuccessful application for permission is determined without an oral hearing, costs may be awarded as follows:

  1. To a publicly funded or legally aided Appellant, reasonable costs incurred in preparing papers for the Appeal panel;
  2. To a publicly funded or legally aided Respondent, only those costs necessarily incurred in attending the client, attending the Appellant’s solicitors, considering the application for permission to appeal, filing a notice of objection under Rule 13 and, where applicable, preparing Respondent’s objections to the application;
  3. To an unassisted Respondent where the Appellant is publicly funded or legally aided, payment out of the Community Legal Service Fund.
  4. To a Respondent where neither party is publicly funded or legally aided, costs as specified at (b) above.

However, where an application is granted, costs of the application for permission become costs in the appeal. If the Appellant has been given permission to appeal, then they are required to give notice if they intend to proceed with their appeal. However, a court fee of £800 is required for the notice of intention. 

Once permission is granted, the case will progress to a hearing. The Justices will prepare a written judgment which is sent to the parties a few weeks after the hearing. This will be a draft, and then it will formally be handed down at a further hearing.  


Cost Assessment in the Supreme Court

Costs are at the discretion of the Court and Supreme Court rules state, ‘the Court may make such order as it considers just in respect of the costs of the appeal, application for permission to appeal or other application before the Court.’

In this Court, costs are assessed on the standard or indemnity basis (Rules 50 and 51 of the Supreme Court). A detailed assessment is conducted by two Cost Officers. One will be a Senior Cost’s Judge or Officer (from the Senior Courts Costs Office), and the second Officer, the Registrar of the Supreme Court.

A bill of costs may be filed for assessment where costs are payable from one party to another under an order for costs made by an Appeal Panel or by the Board. The Court fees payable on a Bill of Costs is 2.5% of the amount claimed (including VAT) and the fee payable on the assessment of a bill of costs is 2.5% of the amount allowed. More guidance can be found on the Supreme Court’s website.


How Can ARC Costs Assist?

ARC Costs can assist in quantifying and negotiating your Supreme Court Costs. We are a team of specialist Costs Draftsmen and Costs Lawyers who have vast experience in dealing with both paying parties and receiving party costs. We deal with costs recovery and can assist in advising you in relation to your costs entitlement. We can also assist with costs enforcement to ensure your costs are paid and recovered once agreed or assessed. If you require any further information or would like our assistance, please contact us on 01204 397302, or via email at


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