During these uncertain times, communication is key. Clarion are in regular communication with the Senior Courts Costs Office to understand and share how they will be adapting to continue to service CoP cases.
Firstly, electronic signatures will be accepted. The SCCO still require the hard copy files of papers to undertake the assessment, however, they have extended the timescale for professionals to send the papers following e-filing from 5 days to 28 days, which will be a great help.
It will come as no surprise that the assessment turnaround will be delayed further by these challenges. The SCCO are working with a virtual costs office with cases being dealt with remotely wherever possible.
To help struggling firms, there is a move in the CoP to increase the interim payment to 85% for a full year’s general management charges. This will mean a change to Practice Direction 19B, which is under review. Further information about this will be shared as soon as possible.
Clarion are fully equipped during this time to continue working with professional Deputies to have their bills of costs drafted for assessment. If you have any queries, please contact Stephanie Kaye at Stephanie.email@example.com or call 0113 3363402.
File keeping can have a big impact on the assessment of a Deputy’s file by the Senior Courts Costs Office (SCCO). Stephanie Kaye looks at 5 key points about file keeping in the Court of Protection and how to maximise costs recovery.
Stephanie Kaye is a Senior Associate in the Clarion Costs Department, and heads the Court of Protection Costs team. You can contact her on 0113 336 3402 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Bar Council has today given further guidance to its members that advocates should not attend hearings in person unless they are “genuinely urgent” and cannot be done remotely. However, it is anticipated that such a hearing will be a rare occurrence.
My standing advice is that where a hearing is listed, practitioners should contact the court as soon as possible and ask for guidance. I recently wrote to the County Court at Huddersfield and asked what procedures are currently in place; I received a response today stating that “all hearings will be adjourned: you will be contacted before the hearing”.
The situation continues to develop rapidly and therefore it is likely that the position in relation to hearings will change.
Matthew Rose is a solicitor in the Clarion Costs Department. You can contact him on 0113 222 3248 or by email at Matthew.Rose@clarionsolicitors.com.