Top Tip: Level of Contact

Paramount Legal Costs

Level of contact and proportionality are important factors to consider when submitting a Bill of Costs for assessment. The Court of Protection Rules 2007 (Overriding Objective) states that the Court will “deal with the case in ways which are proportionate to the nature, importance and complexity of the issues.”

Professional Deputies should consider whether the client has enough funds prior to the beginning of the management year and review what level of contact would be affordable. Taking into consideration; value of assets and investments, complexity of the matter such as, contentious elements, out of the ordinary applications and specialist care needs and including the conduct of the client, family and friends and the care providers/case managers.

The SCCO usually take the view that one home visit by the Deputy, to the client is required during a 12-month period for matters which are considered stable. However, where justified, more than one visit will be allowed on assessment.

The Professional Deputy is expected to decide the most cost-effective method of communication to limit the contact with all parties to an appropriate amount and relate to the client’s property or financial affairs, with a direct link to progressing the case or risk facing reductions on assessment on the basis of proportionality.

Georgia Clarke – Senior Law Costs Draftsperson