The Law Society of England and Wales, Regina (on The Application of) v The Lord Chancellor: Admn 15 Jun 2010

Costs restriction not made under Act

The respondent had introduced rules which restricted the levels of costs which might be awarded from central funds to a successful defendant in a criminal trial who had take private representation. The amendment was made under powers in the 1985 Act, and restricted the sums to those which might be awarded to a legally aided defendant. The majority of respondents to the consultation were against the proposed amendments. The Law Society said that the new Regulations set out to achieve purposes not allowed under the 1985 Act.
Held: Judicial review was granted. The Rules could only be brought in to satisfy a purpose of the Act – those set out in Part II of the Act. The respondent did not dispute that private lawyers could not usually be found to act at legal aid rates. It was not a legitimate aim for the respondent to seek to mould the market to change that situation. Nor was it for the Lord Chancellor to specify what rates are reasonable: ‘The obligation is to provide a sum of money which is reasonably sufficient to compensate the successful defendant. The word ‘sufficient’ pre-supposes that there is some measure to determine whether the amount paid satisfies that criterion of sufficiency or not. It must be sufficient by reference to some particular criterion or criteria. In this case the relevant measure is the principle of compensation, albeit one which is constrained by considerations of what is reasonable and proper expenditure.’

Elias LJ, Keith J
[2010] EWHC 1406 (Admin), [2010] WLR (D) 151, [2011] 1 All ER 32, [2010] 5 Costs LR 805, [2011] 1 WLR 234, [2010] ACD 76
Costs in Criminal Cases (General) (Amendment) Regulations 2009, Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 20
England and Wales
CitedRegina v The South Devon Magistrates Court ex parte Hallett Admn 1999
The costs assessor had refused costs for counsel on the grounds that they were unreasonably incurred because the case was not sufficiently grave.
Held: There was nothing in the statutory language to justify the adoption of such a high test of . .
CitedBalchin v South Western Magistrates’ Court Admn 2008
The successful defendant had been refused the costs of paying his counsel.
Held: The assessor was wrong in asking himself whether the employment of counsel was necessary; that was the wrong test. The only issue was whether it was reasonable. . .
CitedRegina v Wilkinson 1980
The court was attracted by the Law Society’s submission that the general principles that costs should reflect the amount at stake and the expense of providing the service, should govern also court attendances during litigation. The court identified . .
CitedKPMG Peat Marwick McLintock v The HLT Group QBD 18-Mar-1994
The plaintiffs claimed for professional fees, and the defendants counter-claimed alleging negligence. The plaintiffs obtained summary judgment under Order 14 with an order for costs on the standard basis, to be taxed if not agreed. The plaintiffs . .
CitedRegina v Dudley Magistrates’ Court, ex parte Power City Stores Limited and Another CA 1990
The defendant sought to recover the cost of employing leading counsel to defend him in the magistrates court after succeeding. The magistrates had disallowed the costs of leading counsel.
Held: The fact that the defendant could have obtained . .
AppliedPadfield v Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food HL 14-Feb-1968
Exercise of Ministerial Discretion
The Minister had power to direct an investigation in respect of any complaint as to the operation of any marketing scheme for agricultural produce. Milk producers complained about the price paid by the milk marketing board for their milk when . .
CitedLunt, Regina (On the Application of) vLiverpool City Council and Another Admn 31-Jul-2009
Blake J endorsed a six step approach which a public authority will need to address in relation to its duty to make adjustments to avoid indirectly discriminating: ‘1. Did the [public authority] have a practice policy or procedure?
2. Did that . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Costs, Administrative

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.416742