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Court of Protection: Fixed Costs pursuant to Practice Direction 19B

Updated: Jul 8, 2020




Practice Direction 19B sets out the fixed costs that may be recoverable by appointed deputies acting in Court of Protection proceedings on behalf of a Protected Party (P).




The recovery of costs relating to the management of a Protected Party’s affairs will always be determined by a Court Order or Direction. The Order will state whether fixed costs or remuneration applies, or whether there is to be a detailed assessment by a Costs officer. In the event your authority for costs provides for a detailed assessment, you may elect to take fixed costs or remuneration in lieu of a detailed assessment.

Payments on account


· If electing for detailed assessment, you may take payments on account for the first three quarters of the year. These costs must be proportionate and reasonable when considering the size of the Protected Party’s estate and the work undertaken.


· Interim quarterly bills must not exceed 25% of the estimated annual management charges – that is up to 75% for the whole year.

The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG)


· When submitting the costs for assessment, the Deputy must share with the OPG, the mandatory yearly estimate in relation to the amount of work anticipated as being required on a case in the coming year, and the costs relating to the same.

Solicitors’ costs in court proceedings (fixed costs)


Category I

Work up to and including the date upon which the court makes an order appointing a deputy for property and affairs an amount not exceeding £950 (plus VAT).

Category II

Applications under sections 36 (9) or 54 of the Trusteed Act 1925 or section 20 of the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trusteed Act 1996 for the appointment of a new trustee in the place of ‘P’ and applications under section 18(1)(j) of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 for authority to exercise any power vested in P, whether beneficially, or as trustees, or otherwise – an amount not exceeding £500 (plus VAT).


The categories of remuneration above will apply to all the work undertaken on or after 1 April 2017.

Remuneration of solicitors appointed as deputy for P


The following fixed rates apply only to matters where the court appoints a solicitor to act as deputy.


Category III - Maximum Amounts

a) For the first year – an amount not exceeding £1,670 (plus VAT).

b) For the second and subsequent years – an amount not exceeding £1,320 (plus VAT).

c) If P’s net assets fall below £16,000, the Deputy may take an annual management fee not exceeding 4.5% of P’s net assets on the anniversary of the court order appointing the deputy.

Category IV

A health and welfare deputy appointed by the Court, may take an annual management fee not exceeding 2.5% of P’s net assets on the anniversary of the Court order up to a maximum of £555.

Category V

Preparation and lodgement of a report or an account to the Public Guardian – an amount not exceeding £265 (plus VAT).


The categories of remuneration above will apply as follows:


· Category III and IV to all annual management fees for anniversaries falling on or after 1 January 2017.


· Category V to reports or accounts lodged on or after 1 April 2017.


· Category VI to all HMRC returns made on or after 1 April 2017.

Where fixed fees are not appropriate, the deputy may apply to the SCCO for a detailed assessment. It is important to note, this does not apply if P’s assets are below £16,000 in which case, further authority would be specifically required by the Court.


For costs claimed for a period less than one year, the amount claimed must be the same proportion of the applicable fee as the period bears to one year.

Conveyancing costs


The below fixed rates will apply where a deputy is selling or purchasing a property on behalf of P. Exceptions apply where the sale or purchase is by trustees in which case, the costs should be agreed with the trustees:

Category VII

A value element of 0.15% of the consideration with a minimum sum of £400 and a maximum sum of £1,670 plus disbursements.


The category above applies to any conveyancing transaction where contracts are exchanged on or after 1 April 2017.

Remuneration of public authority deputies


The following fixed rates apply where the court appoints a holder of an office in a public authority to act as deputy.


Category I

Work up to an including the date upon which the court makes an order appointing a deputy for property and affairs – an amount not exceeding £745.

Category II

Annual management fee where the court appoints a legal authority deputy for property and affairs, payable on the anniversary of the court order. Management costs are assumed to cover any incidental costs incurred in management of P’s affairs except for some specialist services covered below.

a) For the first year – an amount not exceeding £775.

b) For the second and subsequent years – an amount not exceeding £650.

c) Where P’s net assets are below £16,000 the deputy may take an annual management fee not exceeding 3.5% of P’s net assets on the anniversary of the court order appointing the local authority as deputy.

d) Where the court appoints a local authority deputy for health and welfare, the local authority may take an annual management fee not exceeding 2.5% of P’s net assets on the anniversary of the court order appointing the local authority as deputy for health and welfare up to a maximum of £555.

Category III

Annual property management fee to include work involved in preparing property for sale, instructing agents, conveyancers, etc. or the ongoing maintenance of property including management and letting of a rental property or properties where P is a tenant – an amount not exceeding £300.

Category IV

Preparation and lodgement of a report or account to the Public Guardian – an amount not exceeding £216.

Category V

Preparation of a Basis HMRC income tax return (bank or NS&I interest and taxable benefits) on behalf of P – an amount not exceeding £70.

Preparation of a complex HMRC income tax return (bank or NS&I interest, taxable benefits, small investment portfolio) on behalf of P – an amount not exceeding £140.

The categories of remuneration above will apply to all the work undertaken on or after 1 April 2017.

Outsourcing of work by public authorities


If a public authority outsources deputyship work, the expectation is that the rates claimed remain the same as those which would have been charged to the client if the public authority had remained as deputy.

Disbursements

P’s funds can be used to pay for services, which P would have normally been expected to pay should he have the capacity to do so. These costs relate to specialist services such as, conveyancing, obtaining expert valuations and obtaining investment advice.

Travel Rates

According to the guidance, public authority and other third sector deputies are allowed the fixed rate of £40 per hour in relation to travel costs.

*Disclaimer: Please note, the information on the Aegis Costs website must be used for general information only and it does not constitute legal advice. All the articles reflect the position at the date of publication.

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