Litigant in person costs—general principles
Litigant in person costs—general principles

The following Dispute Resolution guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Litigant in person costs—general principles
  • Definition of an LIP
  • Costs recovery—recovery at common law
  • Costs recovery—recovery under statute (LP(CE)A 1975)
  • Costs recovery—under the CPR (legal professional LIPs)
  • Costs recovery—when instructing barristers under the licensed access and public access rules

Abbreviations used in this Practice Note:

  1. LIP—Litigant in person

  2. LP(CE)A 1975—Litigant in Person (Costs and Expenses) Act 1975 (as amended)

  3. ordinary LIPs—Litigants in person excluding practising solicitors

  4. legal professional LIPs—Litigants in person who are practicing legal professionals such as solicitors or barristers

Definition of an LIP

Traditionally, an LIP was a person who conducted litigation without a solicitor or barrister. However, the definition is now not so limited. The term ‘litigant in person’ is not completely defined within the CPR, although CPR 46.5(6) provides a list of persons/entities covered by the term for the purposes of costs recovery. It includes:

  1. a company acting without a legal representative or a legal representative (such as a solicitor or barrister) acting for themselves (CPR 46.5(6)(a) and (b)). Note: CPR 46.5(6)(b) specifically excludes a solicitor represented by a firm in which they are a partner from the definition of LIP

  2. an individual representing themselves in proceedings, who has instructed an advocate directly under the Bar's licensed access and public access arrangements (Agassi v Robinson (HM Inspector of Taxes) (Bar Council and another intervening)), see below: Litigant in person costs—general principles — Costs recovery—under the CPR (legal professional LIPs)

  3. joint administrators of companies (Sisu Capital v Tucker). In Sisu, the High Court rejected the argument that joint administrators of two companies, who were professional officeholders