Detailed Assessment Of Costs

Detailed assessment takes place either when a client challenges their solicitor’s bill, or when court costs are assessed to decide who pays what. In this instance a detailed bill is drawn up by the party who wishes to have their costs paid. This is subject to a number of guidelines, but there is overall flexibility to enable a party seeking payment of costs (the "receiving party") to clearly set out the claim being brought.

Detailed Bills

What Does A Detailed Bill Look Like?

So, how do you know what a detailed bill looks like and whether it complies with the overall requirements? We have created a dummy one here for you to download and use as a template. The real thing would be more detailed and longer. Normally where considerable time had been spent on, documents, for example, there would be a separate schedule of documents. The bill would then have a summary at the end and various certificates duly signed, certifying the accuracy of the information and that the various disbursements had been paid.

What Happens Next?

The detailed bill should normally be served on the other side or client with a Notice of Commencement of Detailed Assessment, a copy of the Order entitling the receiving party to payment of their costs and a copy of any disbursements vouchers/receipts.

There are 21 days from service to provide "Points of Dispute", raising challenges to the bill. If no challenges are raised within 21 days of service, then a "Default Costs Certificate" is normally obtained for the full amount of the bill.

What If You Go To Detailed Assessment?

If your case goes to detailed assessment, make sure your solicitor has fully explained the process and the information contained within the detailed bill. If your solicitor’s bill is being assessed, you may want to call us to get some initial advice to ensure you are following the correct procedure and understand the cost consequences.