Articles

Navigating legal hurdles: Debt recovery, time extension for costs assessment by law practices and costs consequences

by Dipal Prasad

The case of Marshalls & Dent & Wilmoth v Tandos (Marshalls) has brought to the forefront three crucial legal issues. First, the right of a law practice to commence debt recovery actions against clients for unpaid legal fees; second, its ability to initiate costs assessment proceedings after the statutory limitation period has lapsed; and third, its obligation to cover legal costs incurred by former clients in defending extension of time applications initiated by law practices.

Read More Download

Can a solicitor’s spouse become liable for barristers’ fees?

by Dipal Prasad

Trichardt v Carmelli was a dispute over legal fees involving two plaintiffs, practising barristers, and two defendants, the principal solicitor of MCK Legal and her domestic partner, a public accountant.

Read More Download

Considerations in seeking an extension of time for costs assessment

by Dipal Prasad

Typically, such applications should be made within 12 months of receiving a bill or making a payment. However, there are circumstances where an extension of time can be sought.

Read More Download

When is a costs agreement void if the initial estimate is not updated?

by Dipal Prasad

A barrister, Christopher John Bevan, commenced proceedings in the Supreme Court of NSW against his instructing solicitor, John David Bingham, as well as Mr Bingham’s the client and two costs review panellists. He was seeking dismissal of the review panel’s decision concerning the barrister’s costs.

Read More Download

Costs recovery for self-represented litigants : extension of the high court’s decision in bell v pentelow

by Dipal Prasad

When the court makes an order that a party in litigation (Party A) is liable to pay the costs of another party (Party B), Party B can recover from Party A a significant portion of the reasonable professional costs and disbursements associated with having a solicitor act in their matter. Complications arise when Party B does not have a solicitor and is self-represented. Further complications arise when Party B is a solicitor, barrister, law firm or an incorporated legal practice.

Read More Download

Legal costs and the lpul Disclosing estimates and calculating costs when a costs agreement is void

by Dipal Prasad

Section 178(1)(a) of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (LPUL), which governs solicitors in NSW and Victoria, stipulates that any concerned costs agreement will be void if a law practice contravenes the disclosure obligations of Part 4.3 of the LPUL. Similar sentiments are echoed in the laws governing solicitors in other jurisdictions.

Read More Download

Costs assessment or summons for taxation: can a law practice ever recover its costs?

by Dipal Prasad

Whether a costs assessment or summons for taxation of costs is initiated by a client or a law practice, s204(2) of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (LPUL), which governs solicitors in NSW and Victoria, clearly stipulates that:

Read More Download

Unpaid legal costs: costs assessment after the 12-month limit?

by Dipal Prasad

Since the introduction of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (LPUL) it has become difficult, or even impossible, for law practices to seek recovery of unpaid costs and disbursements from their clients where:

Read More Download

Costs assessment and review in nsw: Lessons from AHERN v AON risk services Australia

by Dipal Prasad

Since the introduction of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (LPUL) it has become difficult, or even impossible, for law practices to seek recovery of unpaid costs and disbursements from their clients where:

Read More Download

Costs for breaching overarching obligations bolitho: costs law experts can be liable

by Dipal Prasad

Costs lawyers are often engaged to prepare expert reports and appear as expert witnesses in applications for gross sum costs orders, particularly in support of costs applications in major class actions. Parties in litigation are increasingly applying for gross sum costs orders to avoid the time and expense involved in the costs assessment process.

Read More Download

Cost of evidence provided by experts Is it recoverable on a party/party basis?

by Dipal Prasad

Evidence provided by experts is essential to many court cases. When a party wins a court proceeding, a costs order is ordinarily made in that party’s favour, under which it can seek its costs of litigation from the other party. The entirety of the winning party’s costs is almost never recoverable.

Read More Download

Exceptions to consequences for breaching costs disclosure

by Dipal Prasad

Section 204(2)(c) of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (LPUL), which governs solicitors in NSW, Victoria and Western Australia, clearly stipulates that ‘the costs of a costs assessment are payable by a law practice if the law practice's costs have been reduced by 15 per cent or more on assessment’ (subject to the discretion of the costs assessor).

Read More Download