Top Tip: Estimated Costs

Paramount Legal Costs

Estimated Costs

On occasions a file note may not include any time for a task undertaken.  As a draftsman aiming to achieve as high a recovery as possible on your behalf and using our expertise, we may on occasions add in “estimated time” on a bill of costs.  This can be highlighted to you as a client in various ways (putting the entry in bold, or a question mark being visible at the end of the entry).

It is vital that fee earners consider any estimated time included within the bill of costs prior to assessment.  Without evidence of the work done in the file, it is highly likely that if the estimated time remains in the bill of costs, without evidence to support it, the chances of recovery of the full time claimed are significantly reduced.

Estimated Costs within an OPG105

When considering costs for the next Deputyship Year, as all practitioners are aware, it is important to ensure that any significant decisions and potential for additional costs are included.  Will your client need significant house adaptations?  Is there an ongoing issue that could increase costs significantly throughout the next billing period?  Is this a new matter whereby additional time needs to be appropriated to a Client to obtain instructions, to ensure a sufficient level of understanding?  There are many factors to be considered.

If the costs included within your bill of costs exceed 20% of those claimed within your OPG105, it will be necessary to advise the Court why this is the case.   To ensure your costs remain within the remit of those provided by your OPG105, do not be afraid to increase your figures slightly to take all scenarios into consideration.   Speaking with your nominated Costs Draftsman may also identify additional items or tasks to be included within the bill of costs that you were not originally aware of.

Becks Doul, Senior Costs Draftsperson