Practice & procedure > Costs assessment

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Cost assessments - forms and fees

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NOTE: These forms are to be used for costs assessment applications under Legal Profession Unifor​m Law Application Act 2014, Legal Profession Act​ 2004 (and Legal ​Profession Act 1987).

​​WHICH FORM DO I USE? (A Guide)​

Form No.TitleLinks
​FORM A1.1​Application for Assessment of Costs - Client v Law Practice
​FORM A1.2​Application for Assessment of Costs - Associated Third Party Payer v Law Practice
​FORM A1.3Application for Assessment of Costs - Retaining Law Practice v Billing Law Practice
​FORM A1.4​Application for Assessment of Costs - Non-Associated Third Party Payer v Client
​FORM A2.1​Application for Assessment of Costs - Law Practice v Client
​FORM A2.2Application for Assessment of Costs - Law Practice v Associated Third Party Payer
​FORM A2.3Application for Assessment of Costs - Billing Law Practice v Retaining Law Practice
​FORM A3​Application for Assessment of Ordered Costs - Party/Party
​FORM A4​Application for Review of Determination(s) of a Costs Assessor

OBJECTIONS TO COSTS ASSESSMENT APPLICATION

Note: There is currently NO approved form for Objections or Responses to applications for assessment.  They should be in writing referring to the costs assessment application file number and party names.

COSTS ASSESSMENT FEES​​

There are fees and costs associated with applications for a costs assessment.

There are separate, additional costs if a party to the initial costs assessment applies for a review of the costs assessor's determination.

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Costs assessment application

To obtain a costs assessment, the following fees/costs are payable:

  • a lodgment fee;
  • the assessor's costs.​

 

Lodgment fee

This is calculated on the greatest of the following amounts:

(a)    1% of the remaining unpaid bill(s) or invoice(s);

(b)    1% of the amount in dispute at the time the application is ​​​made;

(c)    $100.00 - the minimum lodgment fee.

Please note: if the amount in dispute changes during the assessment process, this may vary (and potentially increase) the application fee. If the application fee is increased the applicant may be sent a further invoice for the balance of the lodgment fee, and the costs assessment may be stayed until the full fee is paid.

 

Assessor's costs

Assessors will charge for their time and associated costs (disbursements) in completing the assessment. The assessor's costs are additional to the application fee.

Assessors' time is currently charged at $192.50 per hour.

As a guide, assessors' costs are commonly in the range of $2,000 - $5,000 but may be more, depending on a variety of factors (for example: the amount in dispute and the complexity of the matter and/or objections raised).

One or more of the parties to the costs assessment may be liable to pay the assessor's costs and the lodgment fee already paid. The assessor has a broad discretion to determine who is liable to pay, and to what extent. They may consider, for example:

(a)   the extent to which the assessed costs differs from the original bill(s);

(b)   whether, in assessor's opinion, the parties made a genuine attempt to agree upon fair and reasonable costs;

(c)   whether, in the assessor's opinion, a party caused unnecessary delay in the determination of the  assessment application.

 

Review application

The fees/costs associated with a review of a costs assessor's determination are separate and additional to those for the initial costs assessment application.

For the review process, the following fees/costs are payable:

  • a lodgment fee;
  • the review panel's costs.

 

Lodgment fee

The lodgment fee for a review application is $275.00.

 

Review panel's costs

A review panel consists of two assessors who review the initial assessor's determination. The review panel assessors will charge for their time and associated costs (disbursements) in completing the review.

Each assessor's time is currently charged at $192.50 per hour.

As a guide, review panel costs are commonly in the range of $3,000 - $6,000 but may be more, depending on a variety of factors (for example: the amount in dispute and the complexity of the matter and/or objections raised).

One or more of the parties to the review may be liable to pay the review panel's costs and the lodgment fee already paid. The review panel determines who is liable to pay those costs.

Please note: The review applicant will be liable for the review panel's cost if the review panel either:

(a)   affirms the original costs assessment determination; or

(b)   sets aside the original costs assessors determination and varies the original determination of the total costs payable by less than 15%.


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