Wasted costs
Produced in partnership with David Salter of Deputy High Court judge and Recorder
Wasted costs

The following Family practice note produced in partnership with David Salter of Deputy High Court judge and Recorder provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Wasted costs
  • Misconduct and wasted costs orders
  • Procedure
  • Case management

Misconduct and wasted costs orders

A wasted costs order is an order:

  1. that a legal representative pay a sum (either specified or to be assessed) in respect of costs to a party, or

  2. for costs relating to a specified sum or items of work to be disallowed

Such orders can be made at any stage in the proceedings, up to and including detailed assessment proceedings, but generally an application for wasted costs is left until after the final hearing.

The rules governing wasted costs are contained in the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 (CPR), SI 1998/3132, Pt 46 and the corresponding Practice Direction (PD) 46. CPR Part 46 and CPR PD 46 apply to costs in family proceedings by virtue of the Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010), SI 2010/2955, 28.2.

CPR PD 46 provides that it may be appropriate for the court to make a wasted costs order against a legal representative where:

  1. the legal representative has acted improperly, unreasonably or negligently

  2. the legal representative's conduct has caused a party to incur unnecessary costs, or has meant that costs incurred by a party prior to the improper, unreasonable or negligent act or omission have been wasted, and

  3. it is just in all the circumstances to order the legal representative to compensate that party for the whole or part of those costs

In addition, CPR 44.11 (which also applies to

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