The Legal Profession Uniform Law commenced on 1 July 2015. The Legal Profession Act 2004 was repealed however, it continues to apply to many costs assessment applications under the transitional provisions summarised below.In summary:
Legal Profession Act 2004 and Legal Profession Regulation 2005 CONTINUE to apply to:
Practitioner, client and third party costs assessments applications - where client first instructed the Law Practice BEFORE 1 July 2015 (see transitional provision in Legal Profession Uniform Law (NSW) No 16a 2014 - Schedule 4 Clause 18)
Party Party Costs assessments (quantifying costs pursuant to an order of court or tribunal) - where the substantive proceedings in which the costs orders were made commenced BEFORE 1 July 2015 (see transitional provision in Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Regulation 2015 - Regulation 59)
Legal Profession Uniform Law applies to:-
Uniform costs (previously client and practitioner costs) - where client FIRST INSTRUCTED the law practice on or AFTER 1 July 2015 (see Legal Profession Uniform Law (NSW) No 16a 2014 - Schedule 4 Clause 18)
Ordered Costs (previously party party costs) - where the proceeding in which the costs order was obtained COMMENCED on or AFTER 1 July 2015 (see Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Regulation 2015 - Reg 59)
Relevant legal profession legislation includes:
Legal Profession Uniform Law (Act 16a 2014)
Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Act 2014 (Act 16)
Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Regulation 2015
In summary, the (NSW) Costs Assessment Scheme is set up under (NSW) legal profession legislation.
Costs Assessment quantifies amounts under costs orders made by (NSW) courts and tribunals and determines fair and reasonable costs between clients and their lawyers in light of any costs agreements and relevant requirements of legal profession legislation.
Costs Assessment process is not a court proceeding in the Supreme Court and Costs Assessors when acting as assessors are not officers of the Supreme Court.
Costs assessors are shown in the list of Current Costs Assessors and the members of the Costs Assessor Rules Committee (CARC).
All Costs Assessment Scheme applications are determined on the papers under the applicable legal profession legislation.
The Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 (UCPR) and other rules of court, do not apply to the administration of the costs assessment scheme.The Manager, Costs Assessment exercises the duties, obligations and functions conferred on the position under the Legal Profession Uniform Law, the Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Act 2014, Legal Profession Act 2004 and the Legal Profession Act 1987 as well as the associated Regulations.
The Costs Assessment Scheme does not have jurisdiction to deal with costs orders made by Commonwealth courts (i.e. High Court, Federal Court, Family Court, Federal Circuit Court). Costs orders made by these courts are quantified under their Court Rules. The (NSW)Costs Assessment Scheme also does not have jurisdiction to deal with Client or Practitioner applications involving Family Court matters where the instructions were given to the legal practice on or before 30 June 2008.