Legal Services Regulation Act 2015

157.

Determination of applications

157. (1) A Legal Costs Adjudicator, having considered an application in accordance with section 155 , shall, in accordance with this section, make a determination in respect of that application.

(2) A determination shall, as soon as practicable after it is made, be furnished to the parties to the adjudication.

(3) Subject to the other provisions of this section, and the principles relating to legal costs specified in Schedule 1, a Legal Costs Adjudicator shall confirm the charge in respect of an item of legal costs the subject of the application if, having regard to the matters that he or she considered and ascertained under section 155 , he or she considers that—

(a) charging in respect of the item is fair and reasonable in the circumstances, and

(b) the amount charged in the bill of costs in respect of that item is fair and reasonable in the circumstances.

(4) A Legal Costs Adjudicator shall, if he or she determines that it is fair and reasonable to charge an amount in respect of an item but that the amount of the charge in respect of the item is not fair and reasonable, determine a different amount to be charged in respect of that item.

(5) A Legal Costs Adjudicator shall not confirm an amount for a disbursement unless—

(a) there is a valid voucher or receipt in respect of the disbursement, or

(b) the parties have agreed, and the Legal Costs Adjudicator is satisfied, that such a voucher or receipt is not required.

(6) A Legal Costs Adjudicator shall not confirm a charge in respect of a matter or item if the matter or item is not included in a notice referred to in section 150 or, as the case may be, is not the subject of an agreement referred to in section 151 , unless the Legal Costs Adjudicator is of the opinion that to disallow the matter or item would create an injustice between the parties.

(7) If a Legal Costs Adjudicator is of the opinion that a party to the application has neglected or refused to provide documents, and that the refusal or neglect would likely be prejudicial to the interests of one or more of the other parties, the Legal Costs Adjudicator shall, in order to minimise the prejudice to those interests—

(a) determine the application to the extent possible in the circumstances, and

(b) determine that only a nominal amount is to be payable to the party who has neglected or refused to provide the required documentation.

(8) The Legal Costs Adjudicator, having made a determination, shall prepare a report under subsection (9)

(a) where he or she considers it to be in the public interest, or

(b) upon request by any party to the adjudication, made not later than 14 days after the making of the determination.

(9) A report referred to in subsection (8) shall set out the matters or items the subject of the adjudication and a brief outline of the background to the provision of the legal services concerned and the principal issues relating to the context of the provision of those services and—

(a) specify the work involved relating to the matters or items the subject of the adjudication which was considered in reaching the determination,

(b) specify the various stages of the legal services and the stage of the legal process at which such work was carried out by reference to distinct aspects of the course of the work,

(c) set out a summary of the written or oral submissions made by or on behalf of the parties to the adjudication, and

(d) give reasons for his or her determination.

(10) A copy of any report under subsection (8) shall be furnished to any requesting party to the adjudication as soon as practicable after it has been prepared.