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Ask Michael Holly Your Own Question

Michael Holly
Michael Holly, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6495
Experience:  I have 20 years of experience as a solicitor in litigation and other areas
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We bought a new house with garden. There has been a boundary

Customer Question

We bought a new house with garden. There has been a boundary dispute with two neighbours regarding one side of our garden adjoining theirs. They started court case against us.Judge advised to appoint surveyors and try to agree. We appointed a boundary surveyor who opined that we are right. They appointed a building surveyor whose opinion differs from that of our surveyor. They met, but did not agree. Now we received from Court 'a costs case management conference' date in 3 months. We only have a barrister ( no solicitor) who appeared in court in the first time and who prepared the statement. He said that we have 2 options: to hire a solicitor who will prepare a special form with the legal expenses we have incurred to give to the judge. Or, we do not hire a solicitor. In which case we do not prepare the form with the expenses, the barrister will go with us to Court. My question is:
1. What is the best approach? Hire a solicitor to prepare the expenses report or not and if not what are the repercussions?
Note that we want, provided we win the case, to claim for our legal and surveyor fees and Court, if any, fees and compensation for the delay in building our garage and for the stress created.We are fully refurbishing the house, we needed to finish the garage to store materials but we could not until the boundary is decided.
The barrister will be present at Court. He said if a solicitor is appointed a honerous detail is required. But without submitting the expenses how shall we claim at the trial which will take place later?
Thank you.
Submitted: 3 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Michael Holly replied 2 day ago.

I have no idea, I would ask the barrister how s/he proposes to deal with it if a costs estimate is not to be prepared by a solicitor bearing in mind the court has specifically stated this is to be a costs management case conference.

If the barrister can actually save you from the expense so much the better!!

Best regards


Customer: replied 2 day ago.
Michael, I hoped that you have had an idea. I have asked the barrister but I am not happy with his answer. This is the reason I contacted you. Please provide a reply to my question. Barrister said that if we have a solicitor the Court requires a detailed analysis of costs. If the barrister only appears with us, the Court does not require analysis of costs we may claim. But, if we win the case, and the other party has to pay our cost and compensation, how the judge will know what exactly we are claiming? e.g. Is it not better to submit detailed list of costs and compensation during this so called "costs case management conference" which I understand we can only do if we employ a solicitor? And, is there is a way to avoid this stage of "costs case management conference" and ask the Court to go directly to the hearing?
Thank you.
Expert:  Michael Holly replied 23 hours ago.

OK we have 3 months , ask him under what provision, regulation or basis is it that is that if you turn up with him alone you do not need to file a costs estimate.

The barrister may well be right. You can act as a litigant in person and use a barrister just for hearings and it would be unusual for a court to expect a litigant in person to provide a costs estimate as this generally relates to the legal representatives costs.

Your representatives costs would be limited to appearances at court.

So , he might be right , but I would like the barrister to give an explanation so we are both satisfied.

In the absence of costs issues the court would still give directions to the parties regarding preparation for trial - exchange of documents, statements , bundles for trial and timings


Customer: replied 13 hours ago.
Thank you four response. I need to know if I can claim for compensation ( for the delay completing project) in addition to my legal and surveyor fees during the final hearing if I do not submit expenses and compensation amount during the costs case mgt conference. e.g. Do I reduce my chances to win compensation if I do not submit it as an expense during the costs case conference or it is irrelevant and I can ask for compensation at the final court hearing of the case. Pls note that I am the defendant in this boundary case. Pls see below what barrister said: During the first Court the judge gave 3 months stay for parties to settle. We did not agree. You will see that the stay was missed because I prepared the letter to the court asking for one month extension (was expiring in Sept) , sent it to the claimant to sign it and return to me to sign and send to Court but they did not respond.The barrister said:
The Costs and case Management Conference listed for February 2017 has been ordered because the stay has expired, there are no statements of case and no other directions.
The court will want to give directions to take the matter forward to trial.
This is therefore not something which can be avoided, and parties must attend.
There will not be any Costs element (unless the court orders otherwise in the meantime, very unlikely) because CPR rule 3.13 (which directs the exchange of costs budgets) does not apply to litigants in person, that is to say, litigants without a solicitor.
Expert:  Michael Holly replied 7 hours ago.

Ok the Costs and case management conference is not to do with your claim for damages, compensation etc but solely the representatives costs. So failing to put in a projected bill of legal costs will not affect your case.

The barrister has explained the real reason for the hearing which is to give directions for management of the case to trial, list of documents, witness statements etc.

I see no reason not to go with the barrister on this, the reasoning is sound.

Best wishes


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