COUNSEL'S FEES FOR APPROVAL HEARING NOT RECOVERABLE IN SIIIA CASES - APPEAL DECISION
On Friday 9 December 2016, His Honour Judge Carr assisted by assessor District Judge Simon Middleton (a current author of Cook on Costs) disallowed on appeal counsel's fee for attending an infant approval hearing in a case to which fixed recoverable costs under CPR 45 Section IIIA applied.
In Hook v Hiils, the parties had agreed in advance of the approval hearing that the disputed counsel's fee for attending the approval should be referred to detailed assessment. It ended up being summarily assessed and allowed at the approval hearing, without argument - the defendant was not represented. The defendant appealed. Ultimately the appeal was not opposed so the judgment is short and to the point. The defendant had argued that the scheme in Section IIIA does not generally allow for counsel's fees as disbursements. Legal representation is covered by the fixed costs, saved as expressly provided by the Section.
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