Notice of Commencement of Assessment of Bill of Costs
What is a Notice of Commencement?
Following the completion of a court case, detailed assessment proceedings can be initiated if a costs agreement has not already been reached by both parties. If no agreement has previously been made, then the paying party must be served with a Bill of Costs and a Notice of Commencement before any formal assessment of the costs has been made.
A Notice of Commencement of Assessment of Bill of Costs is served to the paying party alongside the Bill of Costs, presenting and explaining the amount of costs the receiving party is seeking. The form N252 is used by the receiving party to serve notice to the paying party, whilst CPR47 explains the rules and guidelines for the Assessment of Costs procedure.
It is important to remember, unless in exceptional circumstances, that the Notice of Commencement and a Bill of Costs should be served within three months from the date of any costs order or deemed order as to costs, for example a part 36 offer or a Notice of Discontinuance.
At Greener Costs, our costs experts are qualified and experienced to assist you with any costs matter, including Bills of Costs, whilst working efficiently and cost-effectively to ensure a high standard of service to our clients. If you need assistance surrounding such matters, then please do not hesitate to contact us today.
What is required when serving a Bill?
A Notice of Commencement of Assessment of Bill of Costs in form N252 must be used to formally serve a Bill of Costs to the paying party.
Notes detailing solicitor fees and general expenses related to the case at hand must be included in the documents being served to the paying party, alongside a certified signed back sheet (signed by the receiving party themselves or another legal professional) confirming that the Bill of Costs is correct, and that the indemnity principle has not been breached.
It is worth noting that the Notice of Commencement must be officially and properly served to a Solicitors who have the authority to accept the service, as any improper serving of such official documents can cause grounds for improper conduct and jeopardise the costs proceedings.
What happens when you receive a Notice of Commencement of assessment of bill of costs?
If you are the paying party and have been served with a Notice of Commencement of Assessment of Bill of Costs, it is important that you respond to the Bill within 21 say of receiving it (if you do not respond within the allocated 21 days then the opposing party can apply for a default costs certificate which orders the paying party to pay costs in full within 14 days).
Once you have assessed the Bill and if you do not agree with the costs laid out by the receiving party, you can send your Points of Dispute stating what you wish to adjust and why. The receiving party may then send their Points of Reply within the next 21 days in which they can either agree to your adjustments or propose other alternative costs amounts.
If both parties fail to come to an agreement on costs then they can apply for a detailed assessment hearing in which the Courts will make a final decision on how much the paying party is to pay the receiving party.
How Greener Costs can assist
At Greener Costs, our team of Costs Lawyers and Costs Draftsmen have many years of experience surrounding costs drafting and negotiation. We are able to assist clients from all backgrounds on a range of cases and can help you recover costs from your case as well assist paying or receiving parties in the drafting of their Bill of Costs or Points of Dispute/Reply.
With our extensive knowledge and highly skilled team, we can provide law costing services to clients throughout England and Wales and are also proud to be represented on Your Legal Advisor’s panel of costs experts.
In addition to our drafting services, at Greener Costs, we are actively doing everything we can to ensure our business benefits the environment. We are doing this though carbon offsetting of our staff, becoming completely paperless and carbon offsetting through each instruction.
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