Are you unsure as to what documents to provide the Law Costs Draftsman for billing? Is your billing process being slowed by further paperwork being requested from you? Does it seem to be taking forever for you to receive payment on your matters?
If you answered yes to any of the above, then read on for our top tips to speed up the process…
- Paperwork – Ensure that you provide the Law Costs Draftsman with your file(s) of papers (copy versions are acceptable) to outline the work that was carried out during the period that you are billing. Your file(s) should be in chronological order complete with legible attendance notes. Please note that the SCCO has not gone “paperless” yet and therefore they do not accept electronic versions when you file your bill for assessment.
- Time Recording Ledger – Provide ledgers or breakdowns of time where applicable to ensure that all your time claimed during the relevant billing period can be included within the bill of costs. This will not only increase the billing process but will also increase the recoverability of your costs!
- Disbursement/Accounts Ledger – Providing a copy of this is not essential however, it will make certain that all the disbursements incurred on the matter are claimed within the bill. Remember that other disbursements such as Court Fees and Office of the Public Guardian Supervision Fees are also recoverable from the Protected Party's estate but they should be included within the annual Deputyship Report rather than the bill of costs.
- Court Order(s) – It is necessary to provide a copy of the Deputyship Order (First General Order) or any other relevant Court Order which grants authority for your costs to be assessed. If you do not provide this to the SCCO then your costs cannot be assessed!
By following the above simple steps you will increase the speed of the billing process which will result in your bill of costs being filed with the SCCO sooner which means that you will get paid quicker!
Update on SCCO Guideline Hourly Rates…
As many solicitors are aware, the Ministry of Justice is currently undertaking a review of the SCCO Guideline Hourly Rates. The hourly rates have not been increased since 2010.
The Ministry of Justice has invited all law firms to provide their responses by no later than 29 November 2013. The Costs Committee will thereafter meet next month to discuss the responses received and collate additional evidence. They will report to the Master of the Rolls in March 2014.
In light of this, we strongly urge all our readers to complete the questionnaire (which will take less than an hour), in order to ensure reasonable consideration can be given to the guideline hourly rates!
Disclaimer: Anything posted on this blog is for general information only and is not intended to provide legal advice on any general or specific matter. Please refer to our terms and conditions for further information. Please contact the author of the blog if you would like to discuss the issues raised.