Royal Court civil proceedings — a shift from Ladbroke on external lawyers' fees?

The limits of cost recovery in Guernsey litigation is an ever present issue for clients. It is even more acute where non-Guernsey Advocates are engaged because of the need for specialist assistance. With the increasing
complexity of Guernsey litigation, this may become more common. Costs do not always ‘follow the event’. Even a successful party is not automatically entitled to recover all or even part of their legal spend.

Guernsey Advocates’ fees are prima facie recoverable pursuant to The Royal Court (Costs and Fees) Rules, 2010, provided they are reasonable in amount and reasonably incurred. The maximum rate of recovery at the time of writing is approximately £230 per hour, and only rarely in cases of sufficient complexity will the Royal Court agree to an uplift.

However, recovery is not a given. The Royal Court has wide discretion as to costs pursuant to Section 1(1) of The Royal Court (Costs and Fees) (Guernsey) Law, 1969. The Costs and Fees Rules offer a statutory starting point in respect of Guernsey Advocates’ fees. However, where legal assistance has been obtained beyond these shores, the position is more tricky…

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