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Expert advice on prospects of Appeal

What do you do if you are dissatisfied with your assessment received from the Senior Courts Costs Office?

There are times when it is prudent to go back to the Costs Officer and ask for re-consideration of the reductions that have been made. Accompanying your assessment will be a Notice of Amount Allowed on Provisional Assessment (N253), which advises you will have 14 days from the date of the Notice to be heard on assessment, returning the original bill of costs.

The reality is that in most cases, it will not be necessary to request a formal hearing. The majority of appeals will be undertaken on an informal basis in writing. However, we will always ensure that the court is informed if the assessment is not agreed and request further time to enable you to consider the merits of any appeal, the associated costs and we will work with you to provide a detailed letter of appeal.

The process is straightforward in itself. We will draft a letter of appeal to the assessing costs officer, who will undertake a re-consideration of the assessment and/or specific reductions to the bill of costs. We will ensure this is prepared within 5 working days and sent to you for your approval.

Once you are happy with the same, the letter of appeal is sent along with the original bill of costs as assessed and the court will reconsider the items as requested. They will then return the bill of costs to you with their decision, along with, in certain cases, a letter of reply if specific points are required.

We have had a number of successful appeals recently which have included:-

• Reinstatement of time spent meeting with the protected party and/or his family;
• Reinstatement of time claimed dealing with an LPA prior to entering into the deputyship application.

We will always discuss with you the prospects of success prior to commencing work on the letter of appeal and we will provide you with an estimate of the associated costs to enable you to make an informed decision as to whether you wish to proceed.

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