In this Chapter:

1. Notes for completing the Standard Costs Disclosure
2. Standard Costs Document and accompanying form
3. Practitioners Notes for completing the Standard Costs
4. Standard Costs Agreement
5. Practitioners' notes for completing the Conditional Costs Agreement
6. Conditional Costs Agreement and Accompanying Form
7. Form to accompany a Bill of Costs (notification of client's
8. A Letter as required for Personal Injury Claims by plaintiffs
9. Letter for opting out - Motor Accident Claims
NOTICE TO FILING PARTY
NOTICE TO THE APPLICANT
APPLICATION BY CLIENT FOR ASSESSMENT OF COSTS
NOTICE TO FILING PARTY
APPLICATION BY LEGAL PRACTICE FOR ASSESSMENT OF COSTS
NOTICE TO FILING PARTY
APPLICATION FOR ASSESSMENT OF PARTY/PARTY COSTS
NOTICE TO FILING PARTY
APPLICATION FOR REVIEW OF DETERMINATION(S) OF A COSTS ASSESSOR

Precedents and Forms

The precedents which follow are suggested standard disclosure documents, costs agreements incorporating required disclosure clauses, and are capable of being entered into a word processing system. They should be adapted to suit individual requirements. For example, a simple conveyancing transaction will not need the clauses relating to litigation.

The Society does not claim copyright on these precedents, and practitioners are encouraged to enter them on their word processing systems, appropriately modified to suit their purposes.

Practitioners are reminded that compliance with the disclosure requirements is mandatory.

  1. Practitioners' notes for completing the standard costs disclosure document;
  2. Standard costs disclosure document and accompanying form;
  3. Practitioners' notes for completing the standard costs agreement;
  4. Standard costs agreement;
  5. Practitioners' notes for completing the conditional costs agreement;
  6. Conditional costs agreement and accompanying form;
  7. Form to accompany a bill of costs (notification of client's rights)
  8. A letter as required for Personal Injury Claims by plaintiffs;
  9. A letter for opting out - Motor Accident Claims;
  10. Costs Assessments Forms (Supreme Court Forms):


1. Notes for completing the Standard Costs Disclosure Document

(Legal Profession Act 2004 NSW as amended by the Legal Profession Amendment Act 2006 and the Legal Profession Further Amendment Act 2006)

The client should be informed in any covering letter accompanying the disclosure document that any estimates provided are only estimates and not a quotation and subject to change.

The disclosure document and the costs agreement apply to law practice/client retainers in the NSW jurisdiction as well as in the federal courts. They are also applicable in Family Law Act matters in the Federal Magistrates Court- See section 86(c) of the Federal Magistrates Court Act and Rule 21.09. However, they are not suitable for matters in the Family Court as disclosure of costs and costs agreements are governed by the particular provisions of Chapter 19 of the Family Court Rules.

Disclosure must also be made to associated third party payers. Please see sections 302 and 318A. Disclosure is only to the extent that it is relevant to the costs payable by the third party payer.

Disclosure of costs and other matters as required under the Legal Profession Act 2004 must be made in writing before, or as soon as practicable after, the law practice is retained-s.311. There is no provision for acceptance of the disclosure in the LPA 2004. Disclosure is merely a notification. An offer must be made to enter into a costs agreement- s.322(2) and 322(3). The disclosure document can be included as an annexure to the costs agreement.

The regulations may provide additional information to be included in a disclosure document.

The Regulations have provided 2 Forms - Form 2 entitled Form of disclosure of costs to client, which must accompany the disclosure document, and Form 3 entitled Form of Notification of Client's Rights, which must accompany the bill of costs.

Exceptions to disclosure requirements. Disclosure is not required for "sophisticated clients". Please see definition in section 302. Please see section 312 for full list of exceptions. However, please note that sophisticated clients are entitled to progress reports, reasonable information and a bill of costs as well as to negotiate a costs agreement - section 312(5). Disclosure is not required in matters where total legal costs, excluding disbursements, are not likely to exceed the prescribed amount ($750.00 exclusive of GST)). The client may agree in writing to waive the right to disclosure where a principal of the law practice having regard to previous disclosures and relevant circumstances determines further disclosure is not warranted. The law practice should keep a record of any such determination and subsequent agreement.

  1. Clause 1 complies with the GST legislation.
  2. Clause 2 complies with Section 309(1) (a). In respect of hourly rates, if these are to be charged on the basis of minimum units (for example, 6 minute units) rather than the actual time taken, this should be expressly noted in the disclosure document. If this has not been done, the authorities suggest that the practitioner will only be able to charge for the actual time spent.
    Clause 2.1.3. Please note that there are no exceptions to disclosure even where fixed costs apply. Where fixed costs apply, clauses 2.1.1, 2.1.2, and 2.2 should be deleted.
  3. Clause 3 complies with Section 309(1) (c). If it is not possible to provide a total costs estimate, the section requires that a range of estimates should be given. Clause 3.2 provides for this. The range must cover the totality of the work, as it is not possible as under the former legislation to provide estimates at later stages. The costs are GST exclusive in clause 3.2 because at this early stage you may not know which disbursements attract GST. Section 309 (1) (c) also requires that an explanation should be provided of the major variables that will affect the calculation of these estimates. Clauses 3.2.1-3.2.3 make provision for this information. For example, in litigation matters: change in length of trial; number of interlocutory applications; number and location of witnesses; change in solicitor/counsel on the other side; etc. You may provide additional information where relevant.
  4. Clause 4 - complies with Section 309 (1) (d).
  5. Clause 5 - complies with Section 309(1)(e). Please note that if interest is to be charged, the Bill of Costs must state so, including the rate of interest. Regulation 110A, (as amended), now governs the rate of interest.
    The effect of the amendments is that a maximum rate of 9% is applicable until the commencement date (1 July 2006), and thereafter the Cash Rate Target specified by the Reserve Bank of Australia, increased by 2%. The Rate which will be applicable, plus 2%, at the time a Bill of Costs is issued, will be the maximum rate which can be charged as interest. The Cash Rate Target can be accessed at the Reserve Bank's website: www.rba.gov.au. It is found under the caption "Statistics" on the RBA's Home page.
    Interest can be charged 30 days after giving a lump sum bill, even though the client is subsequently given on request an itemized bill. S321(5).
    Please see sections 332A and 333.
  6. Clause 6 - the Form has omitted to mention mediation which is a mandatory disclosure requirement. We have included it in this clause.
  7. Clause 7 - complies with Section 309(1) (h). Please choose the relevant alternative.
  8. Clause 8 complies with Section 309(1)(b)(iv) (and Section 316). This clause imposes on you an obligation to inform the client of any substantial changes to anything (as soon as practicable after you become aware of the changes) required to be disclosed to the client. For example:
    • a change of solicitor dealing with the matter within the firm must be disclosed to the client;
    • a change of solicitor or counsel for the other party;
    • Counsel's advice.
      in litigation matters:
    • change in length of trial;
    • number of interlocutory applications;
    • offers of compromise;
    • number and location of witnesses.
  9. Clause 9 complies with Section 310. Please ensure that the other law practice (Barrister) discloses relevant information to you as required under section 310(a), (c) and (d). If disclosure is made to you by the other law practice, that law practice would look to you for payment of costs. Remember you have only 60 days from receipt of the Bill of Costs to make an application for assessment-section 351.
  10. Clause 10 deals with disclosure of costs in litigious matters and may be deleted if inapplicable. Clause 12 provides information which complies with Section 309 (1) (f) and 309 (2). Clause 12 [4] gives the information required under Section 313.
  11. The accompanying Form (provided under Clause 109A) contains other information regarding choice of law. Please read the Fact Sheets: Legal Fees - Your Right to Know and Your Right to Challenge Legal Costs, published on the Society's website.

Please note that the law practice cannot charge for the preparation of disclosure documents, costs agreements and bills of costs- section 319(2).

Be warned that non-disclosure of any of the matters referred to above would mean a breach of the disclosure requirements-s.317. The penalties are:

Other matters you may wish to consider:


If you choose to include special clauses which you have drafted in the costs agreement, you should make sure the agreement is signed by the client to ensure its validity.


2. Standard Costs Disclosure Document and accompanying form

DATE:
TO:
ADDRESS:

This document and the Form attached disclose information about the costs of my/our legal services, and your rights, as required by the Legal Profession Act 2004 NSW (the Act).

1. GST

2. Costs-how calculated

2.1 Professional Fees

2.2 Charges

2.3 Expenses & Disbursements

3. Estimate of Costs

Either:

3.1 I/We estimate the cost of the work to be:

OR

4. Billing arrangements

5. Interest on unpaid costs

6. Dispute as to legal costs

In addition to the rights set out in the accompanying Form you also have the right to have the costs mediated if the dispute is less than $10,000 (referral for mediation must be made before an application for assessment is accepted by the Manager, Costs Assessment).

7. Persons responsible for your matter and legal costs

8. Substantial changes to disclosure

9. Engagement of another law practice (e.g. barrister)

10. Costs in court proceedings

11. Applicable law


Form of disclosure of costs to clients (to accompany disclosure document)

(Clause 109A Legal Profession Regulation 2005- Form 2)

Legal costs - your right to know

You have the right to:


For more information about your rights, please read the fact sheet titled Legal Costs - your right to know. You can ask us for a copy, or obtain it from your local law society or law institute (or download it from their website).


3. Practitioners Notes for completing the Standard Costs Agreement

This is a standard costs agreement. It may not cover the circumstances of every law practice/client relationship. This agreement satisfies the requirements of the Legal Profession Act 2004; however, it may not satisfy the individual requirements of your legal practice and you may include additional clauses to suit your retainer.

Please note that a costs agreement is also required to be entered into with an associated third party payer - section 322(1)(d)

Disclosure is not required for a "sophisticated client". Please see the definition in section 302 and section 312.

Disclosure under Sections 309 and 311 must be made in writing before, or as soon as practicable after, the law practice is retained in the matter. There is, however, no provision for acceptance of the disclosure under Section 309. It is merely a notification to the client. The offer to enter into a costs agreement is contained in this document and it also contains additional clauses for your protection. The disclosure document (together with Form 2) should form part of this document as set out in clause C, even if it was given separately to a prospective client earlier.

4. Standard Costs Agreement




I. Authorisation to Transfer Money from Trust Account


5. Practitioners' notes for completing the Conditional Costs Agreement

Clients should be advised in any covering letter accompanying this agreement that any estimates provided are only estimates and not a quotation and subject to change.

Conditional costs agreements are not permitted in any matter that involves criminal proceedings or proceedings under the Family Law Act 1975 - Section 323(2). Also, conditional costs agreements that include an uplift fee are not permitted in any claim for damages. The term "damages" is not defined in the Act. The common law definition would therefore apply. There is a definition of "personal injury damages" in Division 9, section 337 which deals with maximum costs in personal injury damages matters. Conditional costs agreements with an uplift fee are permissible in all other matters, whether or not it involves litigation. The maximum of 25% on uplift fees is now limited only to litigated matters.

Conditional costs agreements are also applicable for solicitor/client retainers in the federal courts, subject to the limitations set out above.

Please note that disclosure must also be made to an associated third party payer - see section 318A. Disclosure is only to the extent that it is relevant to the costs payable by the third party payer.

Contingency Fees

Please note also that contingency fees are prohibited only in litigation matters - see section 325.

The Regulation has provided 2 Forms - Form 2 entitled Form of disclosure of costs to client which must accompany the conditional costs agreement, and Form 3 entitled Form of notification of client's rights which must accompany the bill of costs.

Clause 1:

This clause complies with the provisions of section 322(4)(a).

Clause 2:

Complies with section 323(3)(c)(d). The requirement to inform the client to obtain independent legal advice is not necessary for "sophisticated clients" - see section 323(4B).

Clause 3:

The description of the work should be of sufficient clarity to enable the client to understand and appreciate the work which is to be done.

Clause 4:

This clause is crucial and must be carefully completed. The uplift fee is dependent on fulfilling the obligations contained in this clause. The successful outcome may be achieved by more than one means and, if so, the alternatives should be stated. For example, if the successful outcome of an action may be achieved by settlement, an arbitrator's award or judicial decision, these must be stated.

Clause 5

Where a costs agreement involves an uplift fee, section 314 requires that the law practice must disclose to the client in writing before entering into the agreement the law practice's usual fees, the uplift fee and reasons why the uplift fee is warranted. An uplift fee must indicate the basis of calculation of the uplift fee. These requirements do not apply to a sophisticated client. The uplift fee in litigation matters only cannot exceed 25% of your costs excluding disbursements- section 324(4) as amended. An uplift fee in litigation matters should be expressed as a percentage of your legal costs. You run a grave risk of substantiating the need for an uplift fee if you calculate it by any other method. Please see the section captioned "Uplift Fees" in Chapter 4. Please refer to section 323(4A) and 327(3A). Estimates of uplift fees as well as any substantial changes to the uplift fees must also be provided to the client.

Clause 6:

Clear reasons should be set out in this clause to justify the charging of an uplift fee.

Clause 7:

There are two alternatives in this clause with one or the other to be agreed upon with the client.

Clause 8:

Practitioners are now familiar with the GST legislation. However, it should be noted that the GST-free status on disbursements is dependent on either the client paying direct or the solicitor being a paying agent for the client. Accordingly, such disbursements by definition are effectively paid by the client and so cannot be subject to a conditional fee.

Clause 9

The relevant charging information should be set out and the other inappropriate sub-paragraphs deleted or omitted when preparing the costs agreement.

In respect of hourly rates, if these are to be charged on the basis of minimum units (for example, 6 minute units), rather than the actual time taken, this should be expressly noted in the disclosure document. If this has not been done, the authorities suggest that the practitioner will only be able to charge on the actual time spent.

The success premium as a percentage should also be indicated here, and, similarly, in relation to charges and expenses and disbursements where relevant.


Clause 10:

Clause 10 complies with section 309(1)(c). If it is not possible to provide a total estimate, this section requires that a range of estimates should be given at this time. Clause 10.2 provides for this. The costs are GST-exclusive because at this early stage you may not know which disbursements attract GST. Section 309(c) also requires that an explanation be provided of the major variables that will affect the calculation of these estimates. Clauses 10.2.1 - 10.2.3 make provision for this information. You may provide additional information where relevant.

Clause 11:

The relevant alternative in this clause should be selected, depending on the arrangements with the client, and also should be in conformity with clauses 7, 9.2.2 and 9.3.

Clause 12:

This clause complies with section 309(1)(e) and Regulation 110A, (as amended) of the Legal Profession Regulation 2005.

Interest charges. The effect of the amendments is that a maximum rate of 9% is applicable until the commencement date (1 July 2006) and thereafter the maximum rate is the Cash Rate Target specified by the Reserve Bank of Australia, increase by 2%. The Cash Rate Target applicable at the time the Bill of Costs is issued, plus 2%, will be the maximum rate which can be charged as interest. The Cash Rate Target can be accessed at the Reserve Bank's website: www.rba.gov.au . It is found under the caption "Statistics" on the RBA's Home page.

If costs are unpaid, interest can be charged 30 days after giving a lump sum bill, even though the client is subsequently given, on request, an itemised bill - s321(5).

Please see Sections 332A and 333.

Apart from the first paragraph which is only applicable if interest is to be charged, the notification of clients' rights is not required to be made to "sophisticated clients" (see definition of sections 302 and 333(3)

Clause 13:

This clause is only applicable if court proceedings are taken in the matter. This clause provides information which complies with section 309(1)(f) and 309(2). Clause 13.4:provides information as required under section 313.

Clause 14:

The Form has omitted the mandatory requirement as to information on mediation.

The information is included in this clause.

Clause 15:

Complies with section 309(h).

Clause 16:

Complies with section 319. Please note that you must disclose the other lawyer's costs to your client.

Clause 17:

This clause complies with section 309 (and section 316). This clause imposes on you an obligation to inform the client of any substantial changes to anything required to be disclosed to the client. For example, a change of solicitor dealing with the matter within the firm must be disclosed to the client. Non-disclosure of such matters would mean a breach of the disclosure requirements. The penalties are:


See also sections 317 and 369.

Clause 18:

This clause complies with the requirements of clause 88 of the Legal Profession Regulation 2005. Please see in particular sub-regulations (3) & (4).

Clause 19:

The conditional costs agreement must be signed by the client to become a binding agreement - section 323(3)(c)(iii).

Clause 20:

This clause complies with section 323(3)(e). It is not applicable to "sophisticated clients". See section 323(4B).

Clause 21:

Although not set out in the Act a proper termination clause is essential to ensure that the agreement is properly terminated, and that your costs are payable.

Clause 22:

This merely points out to the client your right to retain relevant documents unless costs are paid.

Clause 23:

This clause ensures that the client's authorisation is obtained in advance to destroy files after the relevant period. The Costs Working Group has always recommended seven years in order to avoid any mistakes being as to the calculation of the mandatory requirement of six years.

Clause 24:

The accompanying Form contains other information as to choice of law.

Clause 25

This clause complies with the requirements of the Privacy legislation.

Clause 26

A conditional costs agreement must be signed by the client to be valid. This is not applicable to a "sophisticated client".


6. Conditional Costs Agreement and Accompanying Form

DATE:
TO:
ADDRESS:

1. This document (and the accompanying form) discloses information about the costs of my/our legal services, and your rights, as required by the Legal Profession Act 2004 NSW. It sis also an offer to enter into a conditional costs agreement with you.

2. Independent Legal Advice

(Does not apply to sophisticated clients)

You have the right to obtain independent legal advice before entering into this conditional costs agreement.

3. The Work

The work I/we have been instructed to do is:

_________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________

4. Successful outcome of the matter

The successful outcome of the matter, as agreed with you, is:

_________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________

5. Uplift fees

I/we will charge you on the successful outcome of the matter a premium of ...% of my/our usual professional fees and charges as an uplift fee.

6. The reasons why an uplift fee is warranted are as follows:

(Does not apply to sophisticated clients)

___________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________

7. Costs-when payable

I/We will only charge you either:

Professional fees and charges upon the successful outcome of the matter.

OR

Professional fees, charges, expenses and disbursements (total Costs) upon the successful outcome of the matter.

8. GST

All rates, estimates and other charges in this agreement are GST exclusive unless otherwise stated. Where the service provided is subject to GST, GST of 10% will be added and charged to you.

9. Costs-how calculated

9.2 Charges

9.3 Expenses & Disbursements

10. Costs-estimates

The following estimate is based on the information available to us to date. It is an estimate, not a quotation and subject to change.

Either:

10.1 I/We estimate the cost of the work to be:

OR

10.2 It is not possible at this time to provide an accurate estimate of the total costs. Instead a range of estimates is provided.

11. Billing arrangements

Either:

I/We will send you a bill of costs/ tax invoice containing particulars of my/our professional fees, charges, expenses and disbursements (total costs), including GST, after the successful completion of the work.

OR

AND

My/Our bill of costs / tax invoice is payable within 30 days after it is given to you.

12. Interest on unpaid costs

If my/our costs are not paid within 30 days of your receiving the bill of costs, I/we may charge you interest on the unpaid amount at or under the maximum rate prescribed in Regulation 110A, of the Legal Profession Regulation 2005. The current maximum rate is…..but may vary at the time the Bill of Costs is issued.

13. Costs in court proceedings

14. Dispute as to legal costs

In addition to your rights contained in the accompanying Form, you have the right to have the dispute mediated if the dispute is less than $10,000 (referral for mediation must be made before an application for assessment is accepted by the Manager, Costs Assessment).

15. Persons responsible for the Work

Mr/Ms ____________ will be responsible for the work described in Clause 1 under the supervision of Mr/Ms ____________.
You may contact either one of them regarding your matter and your legal costs.

You may contact me regarding your matter and your legal costs.

16. Engagement of another law practice

It may be necessary for us to engage, on your behalf, the services of another law practice to provide specialist advice or services, including advocacy services or to act as my/our agent. I/We will consult you as to the terms of that law practice's engagement, but you may be asked to enter into a costs agreement directly with that law practice. The law practice engaged by me/us will disclose costs in a similar manner and I/we will disclose those costs to you.

17. Substantial changes to disclosure

You will be informed of any substantial changes to anything contained in this disclosure document.

18. Authorisation to Transfer Money from Trust Account

You authorise me/us to receive directly into my/our trust account any judgement or settlement money, or money received from any source in furtherance of your work, and to pay myself/ourselves my/our costs, disbursements and expenses in accordance with the requirements of clauses 88(3)(a)(i) and 88(3)(b) of the Legal Profession Regulation 2005.

19. Acceptance of Offer

If you accept this offer, you must sign and return this document to me/us. I/we will not do any work on this matter until this is done. If you do so, you have entered into a conditional costs agreement with me/us. This means that you will be bound by the terms and conditions in this agreement, including being billed in accordance with it.

Failure to accept my/our offer within seven (7) days of dispatch of this document can result in the immediate withdrawal of my/our offer to act on your behalf.

20. Cooling Off Period (Does not apply to sophisticated clients).

If you wish to terminate this agreement, you may do so within five (5) clear working days of signing the conditional costs agreement. The "cooling off" period ends at 5 pm on the fifth business day after the day on which this agreement was signed. If you do so, I/we will only charge you the costs incurred for work done up to termination that were performed on your instructions and with your knowledge.

21. Termination of Agreement

22. Solicitor's lien

23. Retention of your documents

24. Applicable law

25. Privacy Protection

26. I have read, understood and agree to be bound by this agreement

(Not mandatory for a sophisticated client)



Form of disclosure of costs to clients (part of conditional costs agreement)

(Clause 109A Legal Profession Regulation 2005- Form 2)

Legal costs - your right to know

You have the right to:


For more information about your rights, please read the fact sheet titled Legal Costs - your right to know. You can ask us for a copy, or obtain it from your local law society or law institute (or download it from their website).


7. Form to accompany a Bill of Costs (notification of client's rights)

Clause 111A Legal Profession Regulation 2005-Form 3)

Your rights in relation to legal costs

The following avenues are available to you if you are not happy with this bill:

There may be other avenues available in your State or Territory (such as mediation).

For more information about your rights, please read the fact sheet titled Your right to challenge legal costs. You can ask us for a copy, or obtain it from your local law society or law institute (or download it from their website).


8. A Letter as required for Personal Injury Claims by plaintiffs

Dear Sir/Madam

Re:

In accordance with the relevant provisions of the Legal Profession Act 2004 and the Legal Profession Regulations 2005, I am/we are required to inform you of the following:

Costs

Please contact me if you need clarification on any of the matters contained in this letter.

Yours sincerely,

9. Letter for opting out - Motor Accident Claims

(Letter to be sent to client before entering into a costs agreement)

Dear Sir/Madam

Re: Your Claim

I/We refer to your initial consultation with me on ............

I/We am required by the Motor Accidents legislation to inform you that scale costs are applicable to our professional fees under the legislation to this claim. This means that if you are successful in your claim you do not pay us anything more for our professional costs than those costs which are recovered from the defendant/insurer.

The legislation, however, permits a solicitor and his/her own client to contract out of the scales provided. The restrictions on professional costs imposed by the legislation do not apply if you enter into a costs agreement with me/us By doing so, should your claim be successful and you are awarded costs, you will have to pay me/us the difference, (which may be considerable), between what is recovered from the defendant/insurer and my/our costs set out in a costs agreement. We are unable to act for you except in accordance with our costs agreement which is being sent to you separately.

Please contact me immediately if you need clarification of any of the matters contained in this letter.

Yours sincerely,

(Solicitor)








NOTICE TO FILING PARTY

CLIENT / PRACTITIONER BILL OF COSTS

Attached is a Form 1 Application for Assessment of Costs pursuant to the Legal Profession Act 2004 and Legal Profession Regulation 2005. Please read the application carefully. Complete it fully and lodge it with a copy of the itemised account or request for payment served on you by your solicitor. Three (3) copies are required by Costs Assessment. It is recommended that you keep a copy for your records.

A filing fee is payable for the application and this is the greater of the following:

(a) $100 or;

(b) 1% of the unpaid bill (paragraph 3 of the application) or;

(c) 1% of the total costs in dispute (paragraph 6 of the application).

The Court will send a copy of the application to the legal practitioner who gave the bill of costs with a notice advising the legal practitioner that any response to the application must be lodged with the Court within 21 days after receipt of the notice. A copy of any response received by the Court will be forwarded to the Applicant. The matter will then be referred to a Cost Assessor to review the bill of costs.

NB: The Legal Profession Act 2004 requires a statement in the application form that "there is no reasonable prospect of settlement of the matter by mediation".

The application may be lodged by attending Level 5, Document Lodgement Office, Supreme Court of NSW, Law Courts Building, Queen's Square, Sydney (Business Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm); or by forwarding the application with the fee to: Supreme Court of NSW, GPO Box 3, Sydney, 2001. (Bank cheques or money orders payable to: The Supreme Court of NSW).


1) The application and supporting documentation must be filed in triplicate.

2) The assessment scheme does not include disputes over costs in Family Law litigation; you should contact the Family Court of Australia on 1 300 352 000.

3) Please complete the attached application carefully, in particular paragraph 4 should list all objections to the amounts claimed in the bill (you may attach extra paper for this).

4) Wherever costs have been partly or fully paid, an application for assessment may only be made within 60 days after the bill was given/delivered or the request for payment was made (whichever is earlier).

5) Solicitors need not disclose costs if the estimate is likely to be $750.00 or under for an individual or private company; and $1,500.00 for a public company or registered body. This is for legal service only and excludes disbursements.


NOTICE TO THE APPLICANT

PLEASE READ THIS NOTICE

Before you apply for Assessment of the Solicitor's bill, there are some things your should consider first:












Form 1

Legal Profession Act 2004

APPLICATION BY CLIENT FOR ASSESSMENT OF COSTS

(Other than Party/Party Costs)

MANAGER COSTS ASSESSMENT

Assessment Number:

Costs Applicant

Costs Respondent









Costs Applicant

(Or Costs Applicant's legal practitioner)

Date:

*Delete as appropriate.


NOTICE TO FILING PARTY

PRACTITIONER / CLIENT ASSESSMENT

FILING BILLS OF COSTS

Attached is a Form 2 Application for Assessment of Costs, other than party/party costs, by a law practice giving bill (Practitioner/Client) or by a law practice retaining another law practice (Instructing Practitioner/Retained Practitioner or Retained Practitioner/Instructing Practitioner), pursuant to the Legal Profession Act 2004 and the Legal Profession Regulation 2005 relating to the assessment of bills for legal fees and costs, other than party/party costs.

Part 9, Division 5 (Costs Assessment - Division 11 of Part 3.2 of the Legal Profession Act 2004) of the Legal Profession Regulation 2005 provides for the form of, and fee for, an application for assessment of a bill of costs other than party/party costs.

Section 351 of the Legal Profession Act 2004 provides that a law practice that retains another law practice to act on behalf of a client may only make an application for costs assessment within 60 days after the bill is given/delivered or the request for payment is made.

Section 352 of the Legal Profession Act 2004 provides that a law practice giving bill may only make an application for costs assessment if at least 30 days have passed since the bill was given or the request for payment was made.

The attached Form 2 may be used for applications under either section 351 or section 352 of the Legal Profession Act 2004.

All application forms, supporting documents, bills of costs, etc are to be filed in triplicate with the Court.

Form 2

Legal Profession Act 2004

APPLICATION BY LEGAL PRACTICE FOR ASSESSMENT OF COSTS

(Other than Party/Party Costs)

MANAGER COSTS ASSESSMENT

Assessment Number:

Costs Applicant

Costs Respondent



    1. The costs which are the subject of this application were included in the retained law practice's bill of costs datedâ ........, a copy of which is attached.

    1. There is no costs agreement between the client and the retained law practice.

    1. *There is a costs agreement between the instructing law practice and the retained law practice (copy attached). / There is no costs agreement between the instructing law practice and the retained law practice.

    1. I make the following objections to the bill of costs: (Note: Objections on the ground that it does not comply with any costs agreement to be identified.)
    1. The following additional information is provided that is relevant to the assessment of fair and reasonable costs in this matter (See Section 363 of the Act).*

OR


2. *COSTS OF LAW PRACTICE WHERE THAT LAW PRACTICE IS THE

OR


Applicant: Name:


Applicant's Legal Representative: Name: Respondent: Name: Respondent's Law Practice: Name:


Costs Applicant

(Or Costs Applicant's legal practitioner)

Date:

*Delete as appropriate.


NOTICE TO FILING PARTY

PARTY/PARTY ASSESSMENT

Attached is a Form 3 Application for Assessment of Party/Party Costs, pursuant to the Legal Profession Act 2004 and the Legal Profession Regulation 2005.

Part 9, Division 5 (Costs Assessment - Division 11 of Part 3.2 of the Legal Profession Act 2004) of the Legal Profession Regulation 2005 provides for the form of, the fee for, and procedure in making an application for assessment of party/party costs.

Information required in paragraph 5 may be supplied by way of an attached statement, provision of a bill or completion of the paragraph in the form.



Form 3

Legal Profession Act 2004

APPLICATION FOR ASSESSMENT OF PARTY/PARTY COSTS



MANAGER COSTS ASSESSMENT

Assessment Number:

Costs Applicant

Costs Respondent

  1. I apply to have this matter referred to a costs assessor.

  1. The costs which are the subject of this application are the costs payable by the *applicant/respondent as a result of an order of the: ..... Court at ....... on [DATE]..... in Matter Number .....

  1. (a) The costs have been fully paid / partly paid* in the sum of $..... on *[DATE]......

  1. (a) The amount of costs in dispute is the total amount of costs for those legal services in respect of which the costs claimed are in the sum of $......

  1. The following information relating to this matter is provided:
    1. Details of the proceedings in respect of which the costs are payable, including the identity of the parties to the proceedings and of their legal representatives:

    1. The total amount of costs payable:

    1. The relevant work done in those proceedings and the period over which that work was done:

    1. The identity of the person/s who did that work (including the position of the person/s eg partner, associate, etc);


    1. The basis on which the costs have been calculated and charged (whether on a lump sum basis, an hourly rate basis, an item of work basis, on a part of proceedings basis or other basis);

    1. The facts relied on to justify the costs charged as fair and reasonable by reference to the above, the practitioner's skill, labour and responsibility, the complexity, novelty or difficulty of the matter, the quality of work done or any other relevant matter:

  1. A copy of this application was sent to the respondent on [DATE]......

  1. In accordance with clause 125 of the Legal Profession Regulation 2005, I certify that:

    1. Objections to this application, or any responses, are attached.*

    1. No objection to this application was received by me from the respondent before the lodging of the application.*
    1. No response to the objection to this application by the respondent was made by me before the lodging of the application.*
  1. The addresses for the service of notices on the applicant, respondent and any interested parties are the following:
  1. I authorise the costs assessor to whom this matter is referred to have access to, and to inspect all my documents that are held by me, or by any barrister or solicitor concerned, in relation to this matter.

  1. There is no reasonable prospect of settlement of the matter by mediation.


Costs Applicant

(Or Costs Applicant's legal practitioner)

Date:

*Delete as appropriate.


NOTICE TO FILING PARTY

APPLICATION FOR REVIEW OF COSTS ASSESSMENT

Attached is a Form 4 Application for Review of Costs Assessment pursuant to the Legal Profession Act 2004 and the Legal Profession Regulation 2005.

Applications must comply with the following:









The application may be lodged by attending Level 5, Document Lodgment Office, Supreme Court of NSW, Law Courts Building, Queen's Square, Sydney (Business Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm); by forwarding the application with the fee to: Supreme Court of NSW, GPO Box 3, Sydney, 2001; or DX 829 Sydney (Bank cheques; solicitors' cheques or money orders payable to: The Supreme Court of NSW).

Form 4

Legal Profession Act 2004

APPLICATION FOR REVIEW OF DETERMINATION(S) OF A COSTS ASSESSOR

MANAGER COSTS ASSESSMENT

Assessment Number:

Review Applicant

Review Respondent

  1. I apply to have the determination(s) of a costs assessor reviewed by a costs review panel.

  1. The determination(s) to be reviewed *was / were set out in the Certificate(s) of Determination issued on [DATE]..... by Costs Assessor ......

  1. (a) *A copy of the Certificate of Determination of Costs and the Statement of Reasons given by the costs assessor are attached to this application.

  1. The grounds for making the application for review accompany this application.

  1. I certify that:

    1. This application is made within 30 days after the issue of the Certificate(s) of Determination by the Manager Costs Assessment to be reviewed, and

    1. Notice of this application was served on the Review Respondent on [DATE]..... (being not less than 7 days before this application was made).

  1. An affidavit proving service of a notice of this application on the Review Respondent is attached to this application.

  1. This application relates to the assessment of:

  1. *I am / Another person is responsible for the payment of the costs the subject of the determination to be reviewed.

  1. I declare that there is no reasonable prospect of settlement of the matter by mediation.

  1. The addresses for the services of notices on the Review Applicant and the Review Respondent are:
Review Applicant: Review Applicant's Law Practice: Review Respondent: Review Respondent's Law Practice:

Review Applicant

(Or Review Applicant's legal practitioner)

Date:

*Delete as appropriate.


The grounds for making the application for review are as follows:

..........................................................................

..........................................................................