Non-party costs orders—solicitors
Non-party costs orders—solicitors

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

  • Non-party costs orders—solicitors
  • Court’s discretion to make an NPCO—general
  • NPCOs against solicitors—when can an order be made?
  • Funding the litigation
  • Acting under conditional or deferred funding arrangements
  • Acting outside the scope of retainer
  • A partner’s liability

This Practice Note considers non-party costs orders (NPCO) against solicitors. Such orders may be made where a solicitor acts as a funder where there is a conditional fee agreement (CFA) and when a solicitor acts outside their retainer. The liability of partners in law firms is also considered. The following Practice Notes may also be of interest:

  1. Non-party costs orders—application

  2. Non-party costs orders—guidelines

  3. Non-party costs orders—company directors and shareholders

  4. Non-party costs orders—funders

  5. Non-party costs orders—others who they can be made against

Court’s discretion to make an NPCO—general

The court has a discretion under section 51 of the Senior Courts Act 1981 (SCA 1981) as to what order to make in relation to the costs of and incidental to proceedings in the civil Court of Appeal, the High Court and the County Court. This is subject only to the additional provisions within SCA 1981, s 51, any other enactment or the CPR. Section 51 enables the court to make a costs order against a non-party to the proceedings.

For general information on the issues to consider in relation to a non-party costs orders (NPCO) and making the application, see Practice Notes: Non-party costs orders—guidelines and Non-party costs orders—application.

NPCOs against solicitors—when can an order be made?

It is clearly against the natural sense of justice for a non-party to be responsible