Clarion are delighted to work alongside the Professional Deputies Forum (PDF) and we wanted to share the recent great efforts of the PDF working group, which our Stephanie Kaye is a part of.
Interim payments and fixed costs
Following on from the recent delays with the SCCO, at the recent Court of Protection Rules Committee, Martin Terrell (representing the PDF), proposed the idea of extending interim payments in matters other than the general management costs. An agreement was reached, whereby in matters where a final order has been made, solicitor-applicants are allowed to ask the Court for interim payment of up to 75%. This ensures that the solicitors will not have to wait until after assessment to receive their costs in matters such as Deputyship applications, statutory will applications or other ad-hoc applications. The Deputy would need to issue a credit note if the final costs allowed on assessment are less than the amount taken on account and these funds would then need to be returned to P. This development will need to be trialled, however, it will benefit many firms and ensure that they are able to remain financially viable. This is huge progress for those firms who carry significant WIP on application cases.
The PDF has written to the Cost Judges to express their viewpoint on the delays and lack of engagement from the SCCO with the PDF. The PDF has advised that the only official route of complaint is via the HMCTS. Members of the PDF are encouraged to file complaints via this method if they have not already done so in the hope that the volume of complaints will have a greater impact and achieve the shared goal amongst Court of Protection practices. There is a direct link to the complaints procedure on the SCCO website. Any progress made with the SCCO will be shared on the PDF forum and also on the Clarion blog.
If you have any questions regarding the work of the PDF working group or any concerns to bring to the attention of the PDF, please contact Stephanie Kaye directly.
This blog was written by Casey McGregor. If you have any questions regarding COP costs, please contact Casey at Casey.Mcgregor@clarionsolicitors.com