Q&As

Are there any steps that need to be taken when seeking a costs order against someone who has the benefit of a legal aid certificate? For example, does the Legal Aid Agency have to be put on notice, and if so what form should the notice take and what information should be given?

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Produced in partnership with Tori Adams of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 17/01/2020

The following Family Q&A Produced in partnership with Tori Adams of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Are there any steps that need to be taken when seeking a costs order against someone who has the benefit of a legal aid certificate? For example, does the Legal Aid Agency have to be put on notice, and if so what form should the notice take and what information should be given?

In family proceedings, it is often the case that each party pays their own costs of litigation and it is only usually where a party has acted unreasonably that the one side will bear the costs of both sides. When deciding whether a costs order should be made, the court will consider whether the party was successful, whether an application or allegation was reasonably contested and the conduct of both parties. If the court considers that one party has behaved unreasonably and the other party has incurred further legal costs as a result, a costs order may be made against the unreasonable party. See Practice Note: Costs in family proceedings.

If one party has the benefit of legal aid then this means that their costs, or a portion of their costs, are paid by the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) and they are publicly funded. Irrespective of this, an application for a costs order can still be made against a publicly funded party. In some family proceedings, ‘costs protection’ applies, which means that cost orders can, in certain circumstances, be m

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