Assessment of Costs for Uniform Law (UL) Matters
1. The LPUL Application Regulations 2015 presently preserve the status quo for Costs Assessments. Because of the Transitional Provisions the impact of the Uniform Law will not be felt for some time. The forms and the process of assessment currently remains in status quo but new forms are a priority for the Costs Assessors’ Rules Committee and eventually the Rules will implement the REPORT OF THE CHIEF JUSTICE’S REVIEW OF THE NSW COSTS ASSESSMENT SCHEME.
2. Areas of the recommendations to be particularly addressed by the Costs Assessors’ Rules Committee (CARC) include-
(a) Recommendations 12.2 relating to Notices of Objection and Interim Certificates which would make it harder to delay payment as can occur presently;
(b) Recommendation 28 which would give costs assessors more powers – this is a contentious recommendation, especially in relation to a power to take oral evidence and the appropriate ancillary powers; recommendation 28;
(c) Recommendation 29 which would amend s 359 LPA to provide that Costs Assessors are authorised to determine all anterior and ancillary questions necessary to resolve the application, but not so as to preclude the parties, by estoppel, from arguing such questions in subsequent litigation;
(d) Recommendation 7 providing standing to beneficiaries of a trustee client: compare s 350 LPA 2004;
(e) Interest under s 101(4) Civil Procedure Act 2005 in most cases;
(f) Publishing Guidelines.
3. Until the CARC provides Rules the Forms and Processes for Costs Assessment remain basically “as they were”: see Supreme Court website.
4. Issues arising on Assessment-
- where lump sum bill given – can itemised bill be higher?
- where interim bills given – the time limits for assessment: See s 334 LPA and ss193 and 198 UL.
Available for Subscribers
Alyson’s 2015 paper “Getting the Most Out of Costs Assessment in 2015 (now that the Uniform Law is operational)” provides the answers.