Fixed costs are nothing new in Court of Protection matters. Practice Direction B supplementing Part 19 of the Court of Protection Rules 2007 provides details of the fixed costs that are recoverable.
Fixed Costs in the Court of Protection
Fixed costs are nothing new in Court of Protection matters. Practice Direction B supplementing Part 19 of the Court of Protection Rules 2007 provides details of the fixed costs that are recoverable. A recent update to the provisions of the PD came into effect on 1 May 2009. Under Rule 156 of the Court of Protection Rules 2007 the general rule is that the costs of the proceedings are to be paid by the patient or charged to their estate.
There are six categories of fixed costs available for solicitors. Note however that whilst fixed costs can assist with cash flow, for more complex cases a Bill of Costs can still be submitted where costs are in excess of the fixed amounts.
Category I - concerns work undertaken (either by a proposed professional deputy or advice and assistance given to a proposed lay deputy) up to and including the date that the order is made appointing a deputy for property and affairs. The amount of fixed costs is currently £825.00 plus VAT.
NB - this applies to all orders for appointing a deputy for property and affairs made on or after 1 May 2009
Category II - concerns applications under sections 36(9) or 54 of the Trustee Act 1925 or section 20 of the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 for the appointment of a new trustee in place of the patient. It also deals with applications under section 18(1)(j) of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 to exercise any power vested in the patient. The amount of fixed costs is currently £370.00 plus VAT.
NB - this applies to all applications for the appointment of a new trustee made on or after 1 May 2009
Category III - concerns remuneration of solicitors and professionals appointed as a deputy for the patient. This covers the general management of the patient's affairs. For the first year fixed costs amount to £1,440.00 plus VAT. For the second and subsequent years the fixed costs are £1,140.00 plus VAT.
If the patient's assets are less than £16,000.00, professional deputies are entitled to take an annual management fee not exceeding 4.5% of the patient's net assets on the anniversary of the order appointing the professional deputy.
Category IV - concerns the health and welfare affairs of the patient. The deputy is entitled to take up to 2.5% of the patient's net assets annually to a maximum of £500.00 plus VAT.
NB - Categories III & IV apply to all annual management fees for anniversaries falling on or after 1 April 2009.
Category V - concerns the preparation and lodgement of the annual report submitted to the Office of the Public Guardian. Fixed costs amount to £225.00 plus VAT.
NB - this applies to a report and accounts lodged on or after 1 May 2009.
Category VI - concerns the preparation of a HMRC income tax return made on behalf of the patient. Fixed costs currently stand at £225.00 plus VAT.
NB - this applies to all returns made on or after 1 May 2009.
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