Senior Costs Judge Andrew Gordon-Saker has now give some feedback on the use of the COP electronic bill which was implemented on 1 November 2022. The conclusion of the pilot is that electronic bills in this format should continue, which is great news for solicitors.
30-40% of Court of Protection bills were received in the electronic form and these have been a success in terms of the efficiency in undertaking assessments. The turnaround of the electronic bill of costs has been approximately 6 weeks, compared with a 6 month turnaround of the traditional bill.
The pilot is due to end on 28 April 2023 for all involved in Court of Protection cases following 5 months of review and this now means that Deputies, legal representatives and other legal professionals will file their bill in the electronic spreadsheet form using the approved template.
New bills and existing cases (with a CE File reference number) can be submitted to the Court using this method for assessment.
The SCCO has emphasised the importance of the filing the bill with the options beginning with “COP-E” however a previous blog prepared answers many common questions:
Please see the judiciary website for the approved template, under Guidance and Resources.
There will be some minor changes to the templates which will be uploaded on the judiciary website so please ensure that this template is used. Bills not compatible with the format will be rejected.
The best method of uploading the documents relating to the bill is as a single PDF with a chronological index via the Document Upload Centre. E-bundles are encouraged and are incredibly useful for those Deputies who work on a paperless or paper-light basis.
Requests for a link to upload files should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a team at Clarion, we were heavily involved in this pilot and we are pleased to see this change being implemented on a permanent basis. It is a great development for Deputies and their teams, speeding up turnaround times for assessment and simplifying the administration involved in the process. Clarion will continue to prepare all bills of costs in E-Bill format.
Additional information on E-Bills can be found here: https://www.judiciary.uk/guidance-and-resources/electronic-bills-in-court-of-protection-cases-pilot-in-the-senior-courts-costs-office/
You can find out more about our services here or you can contact the Costs and Litigation Funding team at email@example.com