Points of Dispute
The costs pleadings placed before the court provide the foundations for achieving a successful outcome at detailed and provisional assessment. We are experienced in drafting points of dispute and reply that are clearly written and set out concisely the nature and grounds of the argument.
Our ability to construct technical arguments concerning complex and evolving areas of costs in a succinct manner enables us to take an opportunity and create an advantage.
We have extensive experience drafting both points of dispute on behalf of paying parties and points of reply on behalf of receiving parties in a wide range of practice areas. Our expertise in this area of work extends from the preparation of points of dispute and reply in relation to low value bills of costs to high profile multi-jurisdictional litigation, where the nature of the arguments raised can be highly complicated.
We are skilled in both identifying and responding to matters of principle concerning substantial amounts of costs, such as proportionality or hourly rates, before identifying or responding to specific points against individual items claimed within the bill of costs. We also have in-depth knowledge of technical challenges, including those concerning the validity of retainers, which often affect the entirety of the costs claimed.
Utilising our expertise in technical costs issues and knowledge of the relevant authorities, we ensure that we advance all possible arguments to either justify or defend the costs claimed. We always achieve the right balance between points of dispute and reply that are “short and to the point”, as required under Practice Direction 47, and drafting the points in a way that ensures they are persuasive and enables the parties and court to determine precisely what is in dispute and why.
At the point of preparing points of dispute and reply, we ensure that our clients are provided with pragmatic advice in relation to the strengths and weaknesses of their position, as well as the realistic level of costs that would be awarded at assessment so that they can make decisions with the best possible information and advice to hand.
To discuss how we can assist you with the preparation of points of dispute or reply, contact us using the details below.
Our deep understanding of legal costs in the full spectrum of practice areas means that our clients always receive legal costs advice unique to the circumstances and challenges of each project.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the period for serving points of dispute and reply?
The period for serving points of dispute is 21 days after the date of service of the notice of commencement. Thereafter, the receiving party may serve points of reply within 21 days after being served with the points of dispute.
What happens if the paying party fails to serve points of dispute?
If the receiving party has not been served with any points of dispute, it may file a request for a default costs certificate. A default costs certificate orders the paying party to pay the full amount of costs claimed in the receiving party's bill of costs.
How detailed should points of dispute and reply be?
Points of dispute should be short and to the point. They should identify specific points, stating concisely the nature and grounds of dispute, and once a point has been made it should not be repeated. Judges can be put off by points of dispute or replies that are excessive in length. The costs of the detailed assessment can also be driven up when submissions quote lengthy parts of the CPR or case law, especially those served by paying parties as the usual consequence is that the receiving party feels compelled to serve lengthy arguments in response. With that said, it is imperative for parties to properly explain the reasons as to why they dispute an item in the bill of costs as it is not enough to simply state that an item is disputed.