a) Assessment enquiry is received including details of the matter.
b) BLCM will by way of return provide a list of appropriate approved Assessors.
c) Parties are to agree on the Assessor (if this is not possible, BLCM will appoint an Assessor through an internal ranking system of appropriate Assessors).
d) Details of the Assessment will be agreed between the parties, the Assessor and BLCM (length of Assessment, location and start time).
e) A Model Assessment agreement will also be circulated by BLCM to the parties for review along with document recommendations for the Assessor in advance of the Assessment. Documents are to be sent to BLCM, Email: [email protected] at least 7 days in advance of the Assessment. Preparation documents will be sent onto the Assessor in advance of the Assessment through secured delivery services.
f) The Assessment agreement is circulated to the parties for signing. Documents must be signed at least 3 days in advance of the Assessment.
g) Preparation in Advance of the Assessment - The parties are to provide BLCM with the following details of the matter in order for appropriate approved Assessors to be put forward:
BLCM will provide a list of appropriate Assessors who have been approved for this scheme to the parties once details of the matter have been received. Appropriate Assessors are Assessors who:
1. Possess the relevant skills and experience to conduct a detailed assessment of the bill of costs and make appropriate rulings.
2. Comply with the BLCM’s Code of Conduct.
Once appointed as an Assessor, the Assessor is to inform BLCM immediately if any issues of conflict arise or any matters which may arise cause issue with them complying with the Code of Conduct.
BLCM will inform the parties immediately should any issues arise and it is for the parties to agree whether they wish to proceed with the Assessment being aware of the issue raised.
Parties alternatively have the option to choose a different appropriate Assessor.
If parties are unable to agree on an appropriate Assessor, Assessor will be appointed through an internal ranking system of appropriate individuals within BLCM.
BLCM will facilitate agreement of Assessment arrangements and following this, confirm final arrangements as agreed in advance of the Assessment between the parties and the Assessor.
BLCM will confirm the venue, the date, the start time, the Assessor and the length of the Assessment.
BLCM will provide the standard Assessment Agreement (specific for legal costs Assessments).
The model agreement will be circulated to the parties for review and BLCM will prepare the final agreement for signature.
The parties are to notify BLCM regarding any amendment requests.
Subject to agreement of the amendments, BLCM shall incorporate accordingly.
The Assessment agreement must be signed by all parties at least 3 days in advance of the Assessment.
BLCM will arrange for the Assessment bundle to be sent to the Assessor.
BLCM will ensure all preparation requirements are being adhered to in a timely manner.
The Assessment will be undertaken by way of a detailed assessment hearing which follows the equivalent format of a High Court Taxation.
Following argument and counter-argument on each issue in dispute, the Assessor will make a ruling which is deemed final.
The Assessment will take place at a location chosen by the parties.
If this is not possible, BLCM will arrange a suitable venue agreed to between the parties for the Assessment to take place. Venue fees are to be split equally between the parties if not held at the BLCM’s venue.
The BLCM’s venue fees are included in the hourly rate of the Assessor.
The Assessor will determine the process and control the Assessment, in consultation with the parties.
The Assessor will consider the Assessment bundle prior to the Assessment and inform all parties if further information is required no less than 3 days prior to commencement of the Assessment;
The Assessor will make rulings having given due consideration to all documentation provided and upon hearing argument from both parties;
Upon completion of the Assessment the bill of costs will be allocated;
The allocatur will thereafter be presented to a Taxing Master of the High Court to be stamped and signed as “settled”;
The Rulings of the Assessor are deemed final and not subject to review.
BLCM provides a neutral platform and physical venue for parties to resolve disputes relating to the taxation of bills of costs and a forum with competent and experienced Legal Costs Mediators and Assessors to assist parties in resolving their legal costs disputes.
Read More ...Posted by Matthys Lourens on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 Views: 1081