Help! I have to send in my form H today in preparation for FDA next week. I’ve no idea what to put in each section. I’m self repping with advice from Nicola on here. So I’ve got what I paid her, what box do I put it in, does it go in “private client costs”?
Does disbursements cover things like printing, postage etc?
Do I list under “prescribed rates for publicly funded services” or “ indemnity rate”?
Form H is just to give the judge an idea of the costs you have incurred so the judge can see if they are proportionate.
If you are self representing, you can put down your costs at £19/hr. Whatever you put down it is unlikely to be the same as a solicitor will charge. I think something like 30-40 hrs is probably fair.
You can also put down the costs of any solicitor input you have had. If you have had advice from a non solicitor, you would have to absorb that cost into the LIP figure above.
Bear in mind the standard solicitor quote to get to FDA is £2-5k.
If you have procured legal services such as from this site you can put those in. You should split those services into the appropriate section. If they were incurred prior to issue of the Form A application, you put them in Section A.
If you incurred costs after issue of Form A, you place the figures in section B. Costs (lawyer's fees) and disbursements (third party fees such as court fees, expert reports, postage etc.) should be separated into the appropriate sections.
All figures should go into the indemnity rate column if you have not received legal aid.
If you are going to the FDA hearing in Section C you should enter an estimate of the costs you expect to incur from the end of the FDA to the end of the FDR.
If you are going to the FDR hearing (or any other hearing after the FDA), in Section D you should enter an estimate of costs you expect to incur from the end of the FDR to the end of the final hearing.
Sections C and D are really an educated guess for a lawyer and a guess for a litigant in person.
I would be wary of inserting costs of litigant in person at the relevant rate. My professional opinion is that the form is meant to illustrate the fees incurred by instructing legal professional and third party experts. The Form H is not meant to be the basis upon which a Court might make a costs order which is the only time a litigant in person costs are considered (and even then rarely).
Whichever way you choose to complete the form be aware that you need to sign a statement of truth when completing the form. This is the same as signing a tax return where you confirm that the contents are true and you understand that criminal sanctions may be taken against you if you deliberately mislead.
Finally, you don't need to provide receipts, the statement of truth is enough. As long as you have the receipts that is enough.