Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Law report, claiming costs when you represent yourself

Junos v Minister of Tourism and Transport [2012] SC (Bda) 46 Civ (31 August 2012)

A judgment of particular interest to unrepresented litigants (litigants in person or "LIPs") and parties facing a successful LIPs.

The following principles might be drawn in considering legal costs to be awarded to a LIP who was unemployed and / or did not suffer any pecuniary loss from representing herself:

In respect of any one item, regardless of how many hours a LIP spent working on it, the maximum that can be recovered is two thirds of what a solicitor could have recovered [7].

The starting point is how long a LIP spent working on an item, rather than a presumption that they will get two-thirds of what a lawyer could claim [8] (the presumption may apply, though, when the LIP has suffered loss from the time spent working on her case)

It might be appropriate to allow a LIP more time than would be allowed to a lawyer with administrative support [9]

Kawaley CJ declined to make any ruling at this stage on whether the $50 maximum rate for LIPs should be reduced and said it was a matter for the Registrar.

Comment - lawyers will be pleased to discover that these rules don't apply to LIPs who are themselves practising attorneys. A practising attorney is always able to recover their full costs (London Scottish Benefit Society v Chorley (1884) 13 QBD 872; In the matter of the Elcome Trust [2010] SC (Bda) 3 Civ)

No comments:

Post a Comment