Litigants in person: recover your costs


Litigants in person, or self-reppers, often feel the justice system keeps them in the dark and covers them in the you know what. 

In family law court proceedings, it can be difficult if not impossible to obtain a costs order.  But there may occasions where the court feels it is right for a party to proceedings to be paid some or all of their legal costs.  This usually means recovering some part of your solicitor’s costs if you are represented.

But self-reppers can claim their costs as well.  An obvious candidiate is in the divorce proceedings proper (as opposed to the financial remedy proceedings aligned with the divorce petition).  The Petitioner in divorce proceedings is able to claim the court fees charged on the issue of the petition and also the costs of their time preparing the paperwork.

The 57th amendment to the Civil Procedure Rules has increased the hourly rate recoverable by a litigant in person from £9.25 to £18.00 effective from 1st October 2011.  Best then, to keep a log of the time spent on the matter, from the beginning,  so you can produce a schedule of your time and your costs if asked by your spouse or the court.

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