Interested Parties and what this means for Costs Assessments

In some cases, the Court will stipulate that the receiving party must serve a copy of the request for an assessment and any accompanying documents upon a ‘person who has a financial interest in the outcome of the assessment’, in accordance with Practice Direction 47 and Rule 47.19(3). This person can be known as an Interested Party.

In relation to Court of Protection Deputyship matters, a person would be classed as an Interested Party if they, for example, have taken over a Deputyship or a contested Deputyship, as they would be responsible for P’s financial affairs and would need sight of the assessed Bill of Costs. In Statutory Will matters, an interested party could be a beneficiary of the estate or a party to the application. This is because they may be deemed to have a financial interest and therefore need to be served with the bill, so their details would need to be provided to the Court when filing the bill of costs. It is important to note that the onus would be on the applicant to provide the correct information.

Once the bill has been assessed, the Court can then decide who should be served a copy. They look at the total amount of the actual bill, the size of the fund and the number of people who have been named as having a financial interest. Directions may be given, and these can include details of service. When applying for the Final Costs Certificate, in Court of Protection matters, the date of service must be noted on the acceptance.

It is important to be mindful of anyone who does have a financial interest in the outcome of the assessment at the outset of the costs proceedings, as there have been some cases where a Final Costs Certificate was obtained, without the assessed bill having been served on an Interested Party, and a dispute was raised after a period of time, which resulted in the certificate being revoked and the detailed assessment process had to be restarted.

For further information or any costs assistance, please contact Danielle Walker here.


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