Cost Law Commentary

Non Lawyers appearing on Taxations

Solicitors need to be aware that there are cost consequences to their clients in engaging non lawyers to conduct taxations of costs.  Practice Note No 2 of 2013 requires that a non-practitioner must obtain leave of the Costs Court to appear, and must, by letter to the relevant member of the Court, seek leave prior to the commencement of any hearing.  In addition, they must acknowledge their Civil Procedure Act obligations. Further, the solicitor engaging a non-practitioner to appear must satisfy themselves that the person is suitable to appear on behalf of the client, and inform the client that no costs of the appearance will be able to be claimed on taxation.  It is strongly arguable that the non-practitioner has no right to charge the client for the costs of the appearance.