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Part XII: Taxation Matters and Costs

93. Scope of certain paragraphs

Paragraphs 94 and 96 apply to all taxations save where the entitlement to costs arose prior to 1 February 1992, in which case the bill should be drawn up in accordance with the provisions of Order 59 of the Rules of Court in force immediately prior to 1 February 1992 and, in accordance with the practice immediately prior to that date. For the avoidance of doubt, the directions contained in this part, save for paragraph 98, do not apply to taxations governed by the Bankruptcy (Costs) Rules (Cap. 20, Rule 2).

94. Form of bill of costs

The attention of solicitors is drawn to Rules 24 and 31 and Appendix 1 of Order 59 of the Rules of Court. In addition, solicitors are to abide by the following requirements:

Margin

(1) A blank margin not less than 10 mm wide on all four sides is required for each page of the bill of costs.

Pagination

(2) Every page of a bill of costs shall be paginated consecutively at the centre of the top of the page.

Format

(3) This sub-paragraph sets out the format of a bill of costs.

Particulars

(4) Sufficient particulars must be included in the bill of costs so as to enable the Registrar to exercise his discretion under paragraph 1(2) of Appendix 1 to Order 59. Without prejudice to sub-paragraph (3), the Registrar may, at the taxation hearing, order the claiming or receiving party to furnish full details in support of the sums claimed under the bill.

Goods and services tax

(5) A party claiming goods and services tax (GST) in a bill of costs must comply with the directions set out in this sub-paragraph. A party who fails to comply with the directions set out in this sub-paragraph will be presumed not to be claiming GST in the bill concerned.

95. Electronic filing of bills of costs for taxation

(1) Each bill of costs submitted to the Court through the Electronic Filing Service must:

(2) As the Registrar’s certificate of costs under Order 59, Rule 32 of the Rules of Court will be composed online based on the summary in sub-paragraph (1)(c), solicitors should ensure that the information contained in the summary accurately reflects the information contained in the bill of costs submitted. Solicitors should also ensure that the amounts claimed for goods and services tax in the Registrar’s certificate of costs are correct.

(3) There is no necessity for lawyers to collect the taxed bill of costs from the Legal Registry to prepare the Registrar’s certificate. The procedure for preparation of draft orders in paragraph 75 of these Practice Directions shall, mutatis mutandis, apply to the preparation of the Registrar’s certificate.

(4) For the avoidance of doubt, the Registrar’s certificate of costs shall be filed as a Portable Document Format (PDF) document for bills of costs filed before 1 January 2013. For all other cases, the Registrar’s certificate of costs shall be composed online through the Electronic Filing Service.

96. Objections

(1) Any objections in principle or as to quantum of the items claimed in a bill of costs must be indicated by the filing and service of a Notice of Dispute in Form 19 of Appendix A of these Practice Directions at least 7 days before the date fixed by the Registrar for the taxation of the bill of costs.

(2) The Notice of Dispute shall be filed through the Electronic Filing Service in Portable Document Format (PDF) and be accompanied by a Notice of Dispute summary, the electronic form of which will be composed online through the Electronic Filing Service. The information required by the Electronic Filing Service to compose the Notice of Dispute summary includes the amounts of costs to be awarded under Sections 1, 2 and 3 of the bill of costs according to the respondent.

97. Amount allowed as disbursements on account of use of Electronic Filing Service

(1) If a document is filed using the Electronic Filing Service, $0.40 for each page of the document thus filed shall be allowed as costs between parties to proceedings. Such costs may be claimed by a receiving party from the paying party where the receiving party is entitled to costs for the filing of the document. These costs shall be allowed in addition to all other disbursements and Court fees.

(2) This paragraph shall apply to the taxation of costs as well as cases where the Court fixes a gross sum in lieu of taxation.

(3) This paragraph shall not apply to any document filed through the service bureau.

(1) The directions contained in this paragraph shall be followed in respect of all taxations in which the Official Assignee, the Official Receiver, the Public Trustee or the Director of Legal Aid is involved.

(2) Subject to sub-paragraph (4) below, for all taxations in which the Official Assignee, the Official Receiver, the Public Trustee or the Director of Legal Aid is involved:

(3) If the Official Assignee, the Official Receiver, the Public Trustee or the Director of Legal Aid, as may be applicable, agrees with the amounts claimed in the bill of costs, then:

(4) If solicitor-and-client costs are required to be taxed pursuant to the provisions of the Motor Vehicles (Third-Party Risks and Compensation) Act and the bill of costs claiming the same is referenced to an earlier party-and-party bill filed pursuant to paragraph 94(3)(d), the Public Trustee need not attend the taxation of the bill and the party-and-party and solicitor-and-client costs will be taxed in the absence of the Public Trustee. However, the Public Trustee may attend at the taxation if he so wishes, and shall attend if an express direction is made by the taxing Registrar that he attend in relation to a particular bill of costs.

99. Fixing costs in lieu of ordering taxation

(1) The Court may, where appropriate, fix costs at the end of a hearing or trial in lieu of ordering taxation. Counsel should therefore be prepared to make submissions on the entitlement to and quantum of costs at the end of a hearing or trial, whether before or after judgment is delivered.

(2) Counsel should note that the Court may fix costs where costs have been ordered to be in the cause, or on hearing applications for dismissal or striking out pursuant to an unless order, and be prepared to make submissions accordingly.

99A. Costs Scheduling

(1) The directions contained in this paragraph shall apply to:

(2) Each party to the proceedings described in sub-paragraph (1) shall be required to file a costs schedule using Form 18A in Appendix A of these Practice Directions. The costs schedule should set out with sufficient particularity the quantum of party-and-party costs and disbursements that the party intends to claim in the event that the party succeeds. A specimen form illustrating the use of Form 18A can be found in Appendix F of these Practice Directions.

(3) The relevant costs schedule will be taken into account for the purposes of assessing the quantum of costs to be awarded for the proceedings.

(4) The costs schedule for the proceedings described in sub-paragraphs (1)(a) and (b) shall be filed together with the parties’ written closing submissions or, where there are no written closing submissions, before the parties’ oral closing submissions are presented.

(5) The costs schedule for the proceedings described in sub-paragraph 1(c) shall be filed together with the parties’ skeletal arguments.

99B. Costs Guidelines

(1) Solicitors making submissions on party-and-party costs (whether at taxation hearings or otherwise) or preparing their costs schedules pursuant to paragraph 99A of these Practice Directions may have regard to the costs guidelines set out in Appendix G of these Practice Directions (the “Costs Guidelines”).

(2) The Costs Guidelines are to serve only as a general guide for party-and-party costs awards in the Supreme Court. The precise amount of costs awarded remains at the discretion of the Court making the award and the Court may depart from the amounts set out in the Costs Guidelines depending on the circumstances of each case.

(3) For the avoidance of doubt, nothing in the Costs Guidelines is intended to guide or influence the charging of solicitor-and-client costs.