19 Feb Costs notices – pre-Court event
Part 12.3 of the recently commenced Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Family Law) Rules 2021 (“the Rules”) imposes stringent obligations to provide costs notices prior to any Court event in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.
Specifically, Rule 12.06(2) of the Rules requires lawyers to provide their clients with written notice of their actual costs (paid and owing), estimated future costs, and expenses paid (or estimated to be paid) to expert witnesses. That written notice must be filed with the Court and served on each other party in the proceedings not less than 1 day before any Court event. Self-represented parties must comply with notice being filed and served regarding any costs they have incurred, and any future costs expected to be incurred.
There are similar obligations imposed upon Independent Children’s Lawyers and lawyers acting under an appointment by Legal Aid Queensland.
If any Court event relates to financial proceedings, there is an additional obligation for the written notice provided pursuant to Rule 12.06(2) of the Rules to include the source of the funds for the costs paid or to be paid. For that purpose, clients must disclose to their lawyer the source of the funds for any payments made to their lawyer.
A failure to file and serve a notice that has been provided pursuant to Rule 12.06(2) of the Rules can be rectified within 3 days of the relevant Court event, and the Court otherwise holds power to dispense with the Rules in the interests of justice.