Professional Deputies are entitled to take costs for the work that they have carried out throughout a management year. This must be completed in accordance with the rules set by the Court of Protection, Senior Courts Costs Office, and Office of the Public Guardian. The Deputy will most likely opt for their costs to be assessed by the SCCO, and otherwise they could take fixed costs.
When a Deputy is appointed, the Court of Protection make a Court Order outlining the authority of the Deputy. One such authority is the Deputy’s entitlement to be paid in respect of the work done on behalf of P. Under the ‘Costs and expenses’ section of the Court Order, the Costs Judge will outline how the Deputy should be remunerated for their costs, which is typically either fixed costs or detailed assessment by a Costs Officer.
If the Deputy would like to have their costs assessed, as the time they have spent outweighs the amount allowed by fixed costs, then they must have authority within the Order to do so.
Below is an example of a costs clause within an Order that grants authority for the Deputy to receive fixed costs only:
‘The Deputy is entitled to receive fixed costs in relation to this application, and to receive fixed costs for the general management of the Protected Party’s affairs.’
As a reminder, some of the key current fixed costs available are set out in Practice Direction 19B of the Court of Protection Rules (2017), and are as follows:
- £950.00 + VAT for a Deputyship application
- £1,670.00 + VAT for the first year of general management of P’s affairs
- £1,320.00 + VAT for second and subsequent years of managing P’s affairs
You can find the full Practice Direction here, if you require further information: https://www.judiciary.uk/publications/fixed-costs-in-the-court-of-protection/
Below is an example of a costs clause within an Order which gives authority for the Deputy to have their costs assessed by the SCCO, or to take fixed costs if they prefer:
‘The Deputy is entitled to receive fixed costs in relation to this application, and to receive fixed costs for the general management of the Protected Party’s affairs. If the Deputy would prefer the costs to be assessed, this order is to be treated as authority to the Senior Courts Costs Office to carry out a detailed assessment on the standard basis.’
Where a Court Order provides for detailed assessment of the Deputy’s costs, Deputies may decide to take fixed costs in lieu of detailed assessment, but this is not mandatory. If you have authority for the assessment of costs in your Order and you will exceed the fixed costs amount, we recommend that you opt for assessment instead, as it is very likely that you will recover more than the fixed costs amount.
If a Deputy has incurred more time than allowed under the fixed costs amount when administering P’s affairs, but only has authority to take fixed costs, then they may choose to apply to the Court of Protection for an amended Court Order granting authority to have their costs assessed.
If a Court order does not grant authority for costs at all, then the Deputy can apply to the Court of Protection to amend the Court Order to include a clause for costs. Otherwise, the Deputy would have no authority to charge for the work that they have completed.
For further information, please contact Lewis.Grant@ClarionSolicitors.com