Legal Services Regulation Act 2015

152.

Legal practitioner to provide bill of costs

152. (1) A legal practitioner shall, as soon as is practicable after concluding the provision of legal services in relation to a legal matter for a client, prepare and sign a bill of costs, which shall contain the particulars specified in this section and shall be in such form (if any) as may be specified in rules of court.

(2) Subject to subsections (5) to (7), a bill of costs shall contain the following particulars:

(a) a summary of legal services provided to the client in connection with the matter concerned;

(b) an itemised statement of the amounts in respect of the legal costs in connection with the legal services;

(c) the registration number of the legal practitioner for the purposes of value-added tax, and the amount of value-added tax chargeable in respect of the amounts referred to in paragraph (b);

(d) where time is a factor in the calculation of the legal costs concerned, the time spent in dealing with the matter;

(e) the amount, where known to the legal practitioner, of any damages or other moneys that are recovered by, or payable to, the client and that arose from the matter in respect of which the legal services were provided;

(f) the amount of any legal costs recovered by or payable to the legal practitioner concerned on behalf of the client, including costs recovered from another party, or an insurer on behalf of another party, to the matter concerned.

(3) The legal practitioner shall provide to the client, along with the bill of costs, an explanation in writing of the procedure available to the client should the client wish to dispute any aspect of the bill of costs, which shall contain the following information:

(a) that the client may discuss the matter with the legal practitioner;

(b) that the client is obliged under section 153(1) to communicate to the legal practitioner the existence of a dispute on any aspect of the bill of costs, and the date and means by which this is to be communicated;

(c) that, where a dispute is communicated under section 153(1) , the legal practitioner is obliged under section 153 to attempt to resolve the dispute by informal means, including mediation;

(d) that the client may have the dispute referred to mediation, including a reference to the procedures available for such mediation;

(e) that the client may apply for adjudication of legal costs, including the contact information for the Office and the potential cost to the client of seeking an adjudication of a bill of costs; and

(f) the date on which the legal practitioner may, subject to section 153 , make an application under section 154(5) for an adjudication in the event that the bill of costs or any part thereof remains unpaid.

(4) This section shall not be construed as limiting a right that any other person has to require a legal practitioner to submit a bill of costs for adjudication.

(5) Where an agreement has been made under section 151 by a legal practitioner and his or her client, that agreement shall be set out in, or annexed to, the bill of costs relating to the matter to which the agreement relates.

(6) Where an agreement referred to in subsection (5) concerns all of the legal costs that are payable by the client to the legal practitioner for legal services provided in relation to the matter concerned, an invoice prepared by the legal practitioner containing a summary of the costs and outlays pursuant to the agreement, together with a copy of the agreement, shall constitute a bill of costs of the purposes of this section.

(7) Where an agreement referred to in subsection (5) concerns a part of the legal costs that are payable by the client to the legal practitioner for legal services provided in relation to the matter concerned, a summary prepared by the legal practitioner of the costs and outlays pursuant to the agreement shall, as respects that part of the legal costs, satisfy the requirements of paragraphs (a), (b) and (d) of subsection (2).

(8) Where a practising solicitor, having received instructions from a client in relation to a matter, proceeds to instruct a practising barrister in relation to that matter, and the barrister has concluded providing legal services in relation to that matter—

(a) an obligation on the barrister under this section to provide a bill of costs shall be fulfilled where the barrister provides the bill of costs concerned to the solicitor,

(b) the solicitor concerned shall immediately on receipt of a bill of costs referred to in paragraph (a), provide that bill of costs to the client.