Solicitor Costs Disallowed where no Schedule was filed
Posted on 8th September 2021 at 15:40
By Sean Linley, Costs Draftsman
A Defendant who successfully defended an appeal was restricted to Counsel's fees only for a failure to serve a Schedule of Costs.
In Mahandru v Nielson  EWHC 2297 (QB) the Court refused an application by the Claimant for an interim injuction requiring the Defendant to readmit the Claimant to the property where had been living before he was admitted to hospital. As the Defendant was the successful party it sought its costs of the application.
The Defendant sought costs in the sum of £3,690.00. It was observed by the Court that "no schedule of costs has been served as it should have been."
The Claimant argued that the appropriate order, in light of this failure, was no order as to costs. Mrs Justice Steyn DBE stated that "In my judgment, that would be unjust given the ordinary rule that the successful party is entitled to their costs. Nevertheless, the fault for not providing a schedule of costs clearly lies with the defendant and it seems to me, in the circumstances, the only sums that I can properly summarily assess are the costs which I am told have been incurred in respect of counsel's appearance at the hearing today and drafting of the skeleton argument."
The Court summarily assessed the Defendant's costs in the sum of £1,250.00, a reduction of nearly 70%.
This is not the first time parties have been penalised for the failure to provide an N260 or Schedule of Costs. Indeed in the case of Kuznetsov, R (On the Application Of) v London Borough of Camden  EWHC 3910 (Admin), Mr Justice Mostyn had no sympathy at all stating that "where the court is charged with a duty to bring closure by summary assessment, and where there is a positive duty to file a Form N260, the legal advisers having failed to do so they, having made that bed, must lie in it and they will not get an award of costs.”
Practice Direction 44 9.5(4)(b) is extremely clear as to the requirements for filing and serving costs details:
(4) The statement of costs must be filed at court and copies of it must be served on any party against whom an order for payment of those costs is intended to be sought as soon as possible and in any event –
(a) for a fast track trial, not less than 2 days before the trial; and
(b) for all other hearings, not less than 24 hours before the time fixed for the hearing.
The lesson is that if seeking costs make sure details are provided to both the Court and opposing party prior to the hearing. A failure to do so can be costly.
If you're unsure whether you might need a Schedule of Costs or would like some general guidance, call 01482 534 567 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a no-obligation chat with one of our friendly team.
Tagged as: Schedule of Costs
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