Taxation of Judicial Accounts

If a litigant is awarded ‘expenses’ against another litigant in a Court case (called ‘costs’ in England), the successful litigant’s solicitor makes up a Judicial Account of Expenses, itemizing the work done, and tries to agree it with the paying litigant’s solicitor. If they cannot agree, the Court remits the Account to an Auditor, who listens to both parties at an oral hearing (‘a diet of taxation’) and advises the Court on how much should be paid. For ease of reference, the following talk assumes that the Pursuer has been awarded expenses against the Defender.

The Society of Sheriff Court Auditors has, for many years, guided its members on how to ‘tax’ Accounts and, if asked by a litigant’s solicitor, has offered advice on the preparation and taxation of Accounts. Proposals by the Scottish Government, well advanced at the date of this note (October 2018), altering the way in which Auditors function, will end my own involvement. Some of those to whom I have given talks, over recent years, have asked me to make publicly available the material I used for these talks.

A typical talk covered twenty areas, and was directed equally to those who prepared accounts and to those who opposed them:

  1. Introduction
  2. Scrutinize the Interlocutors
  3. Update your Table of Fees
  4. Preparing an Account
  5. Travel to Court
  6. Check the Vat position
  7. Lodging an Account
  8. Intimating a diet
  9. Cancelling a diet
  10. Preparing for a diet
  11. Tenders
  12. Attending a diet
  13. Skilled persons
  14. Counsel and Solicitor-Advocates
  15. Party Litigants
  16. Reasonable expenses
  17. After a diet
  18. Clients with fee-exemption
  19. Note of Objections
  20. Powder and shot
Download notes for the talk below

Download PDF