I am preparing my schedule of costs, form N260 for final hearing in a few weeks. I have received ad hoc advice from a solicitor and I have identified their costs to go under letters out/email, on form N260, but where do I enter letters and emails they have received from me and the work the solicitor has done ie writing briefs for counsel, reviewing my drafts?
Also where the invoice shows email in/out, do I split the time spent and the charge, equally between letters out/email and wherever the cost for letters in/email goes?
You would need their itemised bills in order to complete the form correctly. There is no means to charge for 'routine' incoming communications but it is possible to charge for considering incoming communications of substance.
For instance, an email from you simply confirming that you can attend a hearing is not chargeable but if you send a long letter of instructions with lots of attachments, the solicitor might spend 30 minutes considering it. At that point the time is recording in the documents section of the N260. This is the last page of the form and the time there is calculated in accordance with the hourly rates on the first page. The total at the bottom of the last page is then brought forward to the documents box on page 2 of the form.
It sounds confusing but hourly rates on the first page are used on the last page to calculate the total figure inserted onto the second page.
Many thanks Charles for your quick response. I do have detailed invoices. This week my solicitor is writing a brief for a conference I’m to have with counsel. I won’t be billed for that until the end of this month. Do I estimate this cost and include it in N260? Also counsel fees for FH will have to be estimated and included on N260?
In August the Court changed the date of the FH, I had to email my solicitor so they could ensure counsel was available. The invoice showed:
- email in and out client, re listing FH and enquiries with chambers (time spent 0.10)
- Tel call to chambers to notify them of change of hearing date (time spent .10)
- Email in and out confirm counsel available (time spent .10)
- Email client to confirm counsel available (time spent .10)
Would this be recorded on N260 as 3 letters out/emails (.30) and one tel call (.10) under the heading ‘attendance on party’ or do the emails to/from and tel call with chambers come under the heading ‘attendance on others’?
Incidentally that change of date cost me, in solicitors fees, £88 + vat!
Finally do I include myself as LiP as a fee earner, and record letters out/emails under attendance on opponents and the work I have done is it included in the schedule of work on documents, on the last page?
I apologise for the long question(s), but I don’t want to get it wrong.
The 0.3 would be under letters/emails out on party
The 0.1 would be under letters/emails out on other party
Ensure you use 6 minute increments i.e. 0.1 = 6 mins, 0.2 = 12 mins etc. The form should be self-calculating and if you try to use 0.15 for quarter of an hour it will actually charge for 9 minutes.
With the routine letters/emails and telephone calls each one is worth 6 minutes or 0.1 units which is easy to add to the schedule e.g. 23 would be 2.3 hours, 5 would be 0.5 etc.
You should ask your solicitor what work they intend to charge for the purpose of your completing the N260 - they should provide you with the work in the correct format.
In relation to counsel's fees, a fee is normally agreed in advance which you can add to the form.
If you intend to add your own time you can do so as you suggest and add yourself as a fee earner with the hourly rate of £19. You will though have to override the VAT figure as you won't incur VAT on those costs.
Thanks again Charles. Hopefully one last question, do I include on N260 all costs, including those pre the issue of Form A? Or should I file and serve separate forms N260 for pre Form A, post Form A up to open offer and post open offer to date?
Financial remedy proceeds, with the exception of Section 37 and MPS applications are not costs-bearing. This means that each party bears their own costs from their own resources.
However, it is possibly to obtain a costs order due to litigation conduct. The most obvious path to obtaining a costs order is when you make an open offer to settle which you later go on to achieve or better at final hearing. You would then ask for your costs from the date of the offer on the basis that the offer should have been accepted and the costs from that point would have been avoided.
I’ve completed N260 and I’m now in the process of competing Form H1. There is nowhere on H1 to record my time costs as LiP, or other costs eg surveyor fees. Where do they go on H1 or are they just reflected on N260?