Court of Protection
Accuracy and an understanding of the nuances and case law surrounding costs in the Court of Protection is crucial to a positive outcome. Aestima has vast experience in managing these complexities and preparing bills of costs which stand up well to assessment. Our commitment to realistic advice keeps our fees at a minimum and the recovery high.
Deputy’s Bills of Costs
With Deputy’s bills of costs, accuracy and timeliness are crucial. The process is highly regulated by the Senior Courts Costs Office and the Office of the Public Guardian, which means that precision is critical in drafting the bill. We will prepare bills of costs that are fair and accurate, ensuring that the court takes a reasonable viewpoint on assessment.
Our deep understanding of the rules and case law that surrounds Deputy’s costs can prove highly beneficial to a successful outcome. As well as accuracy, we also work on a swift turnaround to ensure minimum disruption to cash flow. Equally as important in terms of cash flow is that Aestima’s fees are not payable until the bill of costs is assessed, and are limited to the amount allowed by the court. There is therefore no additional fees outside of what is recovered.
Preparing Reviews and Appeals of Assessments
Our focus when preparing reviews and appeals is on whether they are a viable option. By offering realistic advice we keep fees at a minimum, as only necessary time spent is then paid for. It is our experience that helps us to offer advice and guidance as to the likely outcome of an appeal and gives our clients confidence that our advice is the best course of action. Initial advice on the prospects of a review is provided at no additional cost.
Contentious Probate Bills of Costs
Contentious probate disputes are on the increase. Aestima is able to assist whether you are the receiving or paying party in preparing the requisite documents. We are well versed in the procedures to include submissions following a provisional assessment.
Hints & Tips
The Office of the Public Guardian require you to give full details of historical deputy costs incurred and to project your costs for the coming year. Calculating your projected costs is a task that should not be taken lightly, as it is clear this information will form an integral part of the assessment of your costs by the SCCO. The information has to be broken down into a prescribed format (OPG105, Professional fees insert). It is essential the budget is accurately prepared as there are likely to be sanctions if your bill of costs deviates from the budget by a factor of 20% or more.
The OPG and SCCO jointly published a useful guidance in October 2015, on the approach they will take in assessing professional deputy’s costs.
Let us advise you on best working practices to ensure you are fairly remunerated for the important work you do.