The Professional Deputies Forum (PDF) has funded an oral hearing in the SCCO, which dealt with the time spent delegating in Court of Protection bills of costs.
The hearing related to a Lanyon Bowdler bill of costs where time spent delegating to junior fee earners had been disallowed. The PDF argued that in line with Fuseon (2020), the time should be allowed as it progressed the matter and ultimately saved costs to P. When assessing Court of Protection bills, the Costs Officers had disregarded Fuseon as not being applicable to Court of Protection cases.
At the hearing Master Whalan agreed that Fuseon does apply to Court of Protection matters. He did not make a judgment but did confirm that the outcome would be shared with the Costs Officers.
It should be noted that this does not mean that all delegation time will be recoverable. For example:
- It is not reasonable to spend one unit delegating payments which would only be awarded at 3 minutes
- It is not reasonable to spend more time delegating than the time the task would take
- The delegated task should not accrue charged supervision time as this results in duplication
- Time spent delegating to a fee earner of the same grade is not appropriate