My client is unhappy with my bill. We have exhausted the internal complaints procedure and I have given him the contact details of the Legal Ombudsman. Now he has asked for my bill to be assessed. What do I have to do?
You should advise him to make his own application.
Although you may issue an application to have your own costs assessed, it is inadvisable unless there are very unusual circumstances.
Unless the client attends the assessment hearing, or the costs judge certifies that there are special circumstances, the court will not make an order for the costs of the assessment proceedings (s.70(9)(a) and (b) Solicitors Act 1974 as amended).
Also, the order made at the hearing will not include an order for payment of the assessed costs by the client, so that if the client does not pay the bill after the assessment you will have to commence separate proceedings for payment.
While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this article, it does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. The Law Society does not accept any responsibility for liabilities arising as a result of reliance upon the information given.
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