After the initial satisfaction of having obtained Orders for Costs in their clients’ favour, practitioners face the challenge of having these costs assessed.
The Schedules to the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 (Qld) set out the dollar amounts that can be included in a successful party’s costs claims. The Schedules pertain to proceedings in the Supreme, District and Magistrates Courts of Queensland.
Item 1 of the Schedules pertains to “General Care and Conduct” but does not state a precise dollar amount. In the absence of precise direction, lawyers have taken different approaches in deciding how much to claim under Item 1 and how it is to be calculated.
Last year the Supreme Court of Queensland addressed this uncertainty by issuing the Supreme Court Practice Direction 22 of 2018. This Practice Direction provides comprehensive guidance for determining the appropriate amount to be sought for General Care and Conduct.
These Guidelines apply to all proceedings in both the Supreme and District Courts of Queensland.
These Guidelines include several Descriptions of types of litigation matters with a range of percentages allowed depending on the quantum of the award and the complexity of the matter.
The Practice Direction can be found at:
Stuart Loudon is a Court-appointed Costs Assessor and is available to consult on any matters your firm may have relating to costs.