Cost Law Commentary

Specialist Cost Lawyers and Costs Recovery

The recent decision of A.J. Macken & Co v Amcor Limited and Ors[1] is a significant decision in relation to the cost of preparing a bill and of appearing on taxation.  The Associate Justice increased the scale allowance for drawing and engrossing a bill to reflect what was a proper charge to counsel to prepare documents and appear, on the basis that the accredited Cost Lawyer who prepared the bill and appeared was analogous to counsel.  In the circumstances of the particular matter, His Honour found that it was appropriate to treat the cost lawyer as counsel, having regard to the complexity of the matter, and that the engagement of a specialist to appear was warranted both in terms of “difficulty and the resource implications for the firm in the bill were to be drawn in house” (the applicant was a small law firm).  It was also relevant that there was likely to be a cost savings in having the person who prepared the bill also appear on the taxation.

[1] Unreported, Supreme Court of Victoria, Wood AsJ, 29 August 2013