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Costs assessment - party

This information relates to costs assessment other than those made under the Legal Profession Act 2007. Please refer to Costs assessment - Legal Profession Act 2007 for information on costs assessment under the Legal Profession Act 2007.

The court may order that costs are to be assessed if:

  • the court orders one litigant in a proceeding to pay the costs of the other litigant; or
  • one person is required to pay another person’s costs under legislation or by agreement.

Costs in proceedings usually follow the event (i.e. costs are awarded to the successful party) unless the court considers another order is more appropriate. The court may fix the amount of the costs to be paid or order that the costs be assessed by a costs assessor.

If the costs are to be assessed the successful party must serve a Costs Statement (Form 60A Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999) on the other party.

If the party served with the costs statement objects to any item in the costs statement they must serve the successful party with a Notice of Objection (Form 61 Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999) within 21 days of being served with the costs statement.

Either party may then apply to the court, as constituted by a registrar for the appointment of a costs assessor by filing in the registry of the court:

  1. An Application (Form 9 Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999);
  2. The Costs Statement;
  3. The Notice of Objection (if one has been served);
  4. If applicable, the nominated costs assessor’s consent to appointment and confirmation of no conflict of interest; and
  5. If the parties agree on the appointment of a costs assessor, a Request for Consent Order of Registrar (Form 59A Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999) and two copies of the draft order (Form 59 Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999) appointing the assessor.

If at any time prior to the appointment of a costs assessor the parties agree on the amount of the costs to be paid they may apply to the registrar for an order by consent under rule 666 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999.

If the parties do not agree on the appointment of a costs assessor they may apply to the court for directions (including the appointment of a costs assessor) or the registrar will appoint an assessor after hearing the application and considering any material provided by the parties.

The appointed costs assessor will conduct the assessment and determine the amount of costs to be paid to the successful party.

Default Assessment

If the party served with the costs assessment does not serve a Notice of Objection within 21 days of being served with the costs statement the successful party can apply to the court, as constituted by a registrar for the appointment of a cost assessor to conduct a default assessment by filing in the registry of the court:

  1. An Application (Form 9 Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999);
  2. The Costs Statement;
  3. An affidavit of service of the Costs Statement (Form 46 Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999); and
  4. If applicable, the nominated costs assessor’s consent to appointment and confirmation of no conflict of interest.

On being satisfied that the Costs Statement was correctly served on the other party the costs assessor will assess the costs without necessarily considering each and every item and issue a certificate for the amount of the assessed costs (including the costs of the assessment).

Assessor’s Certificate

The costs assessor will issue a certificate for the amount of the assessed costs (including the costs of the assessment) and file it in the registry of the court within 14 days after the end of the assessment. A copy of the certificate will be given to each of the parties.

The registrar will refer to the certificate and make an appropriate order which is not enforceable until at least 14 days after the date the order is made.


The following legislation may assist you:

The following practice directions may assist you:

3/2007 Supreme Court Practice Direction – Agreed or fixed costs
3/2007 District Court Practice Direction – Agreed or fixed costs
Last reviewed
31 October 2012
Last updated
31 October 2012

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