It is extremely common for Deputies to be involved in ongoing litigation claims for Protected Parties. Deputies often become involved in interim payment applications and are usually asked to disclose details of the Protected Party’s affairs to the litigation solicitor to assist with the Schedule of Loss and other documentation. The main question that needs to be answered however is whether these costs can be claimed within the general management bill of costs.
Unfortunately, the answer is no…
Master Haworth considered this and made an unpublished judgment on 3 June 2014 in relation to civil costs within Court of Protection matters. Master Haworth stated that:
“The principal point at issue was one that appears to be coming increasingly common in COP general management bills, namely the costs incurred by the Deputy in relation to ongoing litigation. In particular, requests being made by the litigation solicitor for information relating to the affairs of the Protected Party and more particularly in relation to possible interim payment applications. The view I take is that where the Deputy is being asked to provide information and/or schedules and/or documentation to support an interim payment application in ongoing litigation these are not general management charges.”
Master Haworth directed the Deputy to withdraw their bill of costs and to re-submit a new bill of costs which did not include the litigation costs to allow him to solely assess the general management costs that had been incurred.
It is advisable that the Deputy’s costs which relate to the Protected Party’s litigation claim are not included within general management bills. Costs which relate to the litigation claim should be recovered within the litigation bill of costs. The Deputy should therefore outline their costs to the litigation solicitor to ensure that the costs are remunerated correctly.
If you require any further advice or assistance in relation to your Court of Protection costs, please do not hesitate to contact the Clarion Costs Team on COPCosts@clarionsolicitors.com or 0113 246 0622.