Tribunal Rules

I    GENERAL RULES ABOUT DETAILED ASSESSMENT

Time when detailed assessment may be carried out

39.1     The general rule is that the costs of any proceedings or any part of the proceedings are not to be assessed by the detailed procedure until the conclusion of the proceedings but the Tribunal may order them to be assessed immediately.

No stay of detailed assessment where there is an appeal

39.2     Detailed assessment is not stayed pending an appeal unless the Tribunal so orders.

Powers of the Registrar

39.3     The Registrar has all the powers of the Tribunal when making a detailed assessment, except –

(1)     power to make a wasted costs order;

(2)     power to make an order under –

(a)     Rules 38.58 to 38.59 (powers in relation to misconduct);

(b)     Rules 39.11 to 39.12 (sanction for delay in commencing detailed assessment proceedings).

II     COSTS PAYABLE BY ONE PARTY TO ANOTHER – COMMENCEMENT OF DETAILED ASSESSMENT PROCEEDINGS

Application of this section

39.4     This section of Part 39 applies where the Registrar is to make a detailed assessment of costs which are payable by one party to another.

Commencement of detailed assessment proceedings

39.5     Detailed assessment proceedings are commenced by the receiving party serving on the paying party –

(1)     notice of commencement in Form P40/01; and

(2)     a copy of the bill of costs.

39.6     The receiving party must also serve a copy of the notice of commencement and the bill on any other relevant person including:

(1)     any person who has taken part in the proceedings which gave rise to the assessment and who is directly liable under an order for costs made against him;

(2)     any person who has given to the receiving party notice in writing that he has a financial interest in the outcome of the assessment and wishes to be a party accordingly;

(3)     any other person whom the Tribunal orders to be treated as such.

39.7     Where a party is unsure whether a person is or is not a relevant person, that party may apply to the appropriate office for directions.

39.8     The Tribunal will generally not make an order that the person in respect of whom the application is made will be treated as a relevant person, unless within a specified time he applies to the Tribunal to be joined as a party to the assessment proceedings in accordance with Part 20.

39.9     A person on whom a copy of the notice of commencement is served under Rule 39.6 is a party to the detailed assessment proceedings (in addition to the paying party and the receiving party).

Period for commencing detailed assessment proceedings

39.10     The following table shows the period for commencing detailed assessment proceedings.

Source of right to detailed assessment

Judgment, direction, order, award or other determination

Discontinuance under Part 34

Time by which detailed assessment proceedings must be commenced

3 months after the date of the judgment etc. Where detailed assessment is stayed pending an appeal, 3 months after the date of the order lifting the stay

3 months after the date of service of notice of discontinuance under Rule 34.6; or 3 months after the date of the dismissal of application to set the notice of discontinuance aside under rule 34.10

Acceptance of an    3 months after the date when the right to
offer to settle    costs arose

Sanction for delay in commencing detailed assessment proceedings

39.11     Where the receiving party fails to commence detailed assessment proceedings within the period specified –

(1)     in Rule 39.10; or

(2)     by any direction of the Tribunal,

the paying party may apply for an order requiring the receiving party to commence detailed assessment proceedings within such time as the Tribunal may specify.

39.12     On an application under Rule 39.11, the Tribunal may direct that, unless the receiving party commences detailed assessment proceedings within the time specified by the Tribunal, all or part of the costs to which the receiving party would otherwise be entitled will be disallowed.

39.13     If –

(1)     the paying party has not made an application in accordance with Rule 39.11; and

(2)     the receiving party commences the proceedings later than the period specified in Rule 39.10, the Tribunal may disallow all or part of the interest otherwise payable to the receiving party under Article 39 of the DIFC Court Law, No. 10 of 2004 (as applied to proceedings before the Tribunal and amended by the Schedule to the Tribunal Decree) but must not impose any other sanction except in accordance with Rules 38.58 to 38.59 (powers in relation to misconduct).

Points of dispute and consequence of not serving

39.14     The paying party and any other party to the detailed assessment proceedings may dispute any item in the bill of costs by serving points of dispute on –

(1)     the receiving party; and

(2)     every other party to the detailed assessment proceedings.

39.15     The period for serving points of dispute is 21 days after the date of service of the notice of commencement.

39.16     If a party serves points of dispute after the period set out in Rule 39.15, he may not be heard further in the detailed assessment proceedings unless the Tribunal gives permission.

39.17     The receiving party may file a request for a default costs certificate if –

(1)     the period set out in Rule 39.15 for serving points of dispute has expired; and

(2)     he has not been served with any points of dispute.

39.18     If any party (including the paying party) serves points of dispute before the issue of a default costs certificate the Tribunal may not issue the default costs certificate.

Procedure where costs are agreed

39.19     If the paying party and the receiving party agree the amount of costs, either party may apply for a costs certificate (either interim or final) in the amount agreed.

III     COSTS PAYABLE BY ONE PARTY TO ANOTHER – DEFAULT PROVISIONS

Default costs certificate

39.20     Where the receiving party is permitted by Rule 39.17 to obtain a default costs certificate, he does so by filing a request Form P40/02.

39.21     A default costs certificate will include an order to pay the costs to which it relates.

39.22     Where a receiving party obtains a default costs certificate, the costs payable to him for the commencement of detailed assessment proceedings shall be AED 640.

Setting aside default costs certificate

39.23     The Tribunal must set aside a default costs certificate if the receiving party was not entitled to it.

39.24     In any other case, the Tribunal may set aside or vary a default costs certificate if it appears to the Tribunal that there is some good reason why the detailed assessment proceedings should continue.

39.25     Where –

(1)     the receiving party has purported to serve the notice of commencement on the paying party;

(2)     a default costs certificate has been issued; and

(3)     the receiving party subsequently discovers that the notice of commencement did not reach the paying party at least 21 days before the default costs certificate was issued,

the receiving party must –

(a)     file a request for the default costs certificate to be set aside; or

(b)     apply to the Tribunal for directions.

39.26     Where Rule 39.25 applies, the receiving party may take no further step in –

(1)     the detailed assessment proceedings; or

(2)     the enforcement of the default costs certificate,

until the certificate has been set aside or the Tribunal has given directions.

IV    COSTS PAYABLE BY ONE PARTY TO ANOTHER – PROCEDURE WHERE POINTS OF DISPUTE ARE SERVED

Optional reply

39.27     Where any party to the detailed assessment proceedings serves points of dispute, the receiving party may serve a reply on the other parties to the assessment proceedings.

39.28     He may do so within 21 days after service on him of the points of dispute to which his reply relates.

Detailed assessment hearing

39.29     Where points of dispute are served in accordance with this Part, the receiving party must file a request for a detailed assessment hearing.

39.30     He must file the request within 3 months of the expiry of the period for commencing detailed assessment proceedings as specified –

(1)     in Rule 39.10; or

(2)     by any direction of the Tribunal.

39.31     Where the receiving party fails to file a request in accordance with Rule 39.30, the paying party may apply for an order requiring the receiving party to file the request within such time as the Tribunal may specify.

39.32     On an application under Rule 39.31, the Tribunal may direct that, unless the receiving party requests a detailed assessment hearing within the time specified by the Tribunal, all or part of the Costs to which the receiving party would otherwise be entitled will be disallowed.

39.33     If –

(1)     the paying party has not made an application in accordance with Rule 39.31; and

(2)     the receiving party files a request for a detailed assessment hearing later than the period specified in Rule 39.30,

the Tribunal may disallow all or part of the interest otherwise payable to the receiving party under Article 39 of the DIFC Court Law, No. 10 of 2004 (as applied to proceedings before the Tribunal and amended by the Schedule to the Tribunal Decree) but must not impose any other sanction except in accordance with Rules 38.58 to 38.59 (powers in relation to misconduct).

39.34     No party other than –

(1)     the receiving party;

(2)     the paying party; and

(3)     any party who has served points of dispute under 39.14,

may be heard at the detailed assessment hearing unless the Tribunal gives permission.

39.35     Only items specified in the points of dispute may be raised at the hearing, unless the Tribunal gives permission.

V     INTERIM COSTS CERTIFICATE AND FINAL COSTS CERTIFICATE

Power to issue an interim certificate

39.36     The Tribunal may at any time after the receiving party has filed a request for a detailed assessment hearing –

(1)     issue an interim costs certificate for such sum as it considers appropriate;

(2)     amend or cancel an interim certificate.

39.37     An interim certificate will include an order to pay the costs to which it relates, unless the Tribunal orders otherwise.

39.38     The Tribunal may order the costs certified in an interim certificate to be paid into the Tribunal Registry.

Final costs certificate

39.39     In Rules 39.40 and 39.41 a completed bill means a bill calculated to show the amount due following the detailed assessment of the costs.

39.40     The period for filing the completed bill is 14 days after the end of the detailed assessment hearing.

39.41     When a completed bill is filed the Tribunal will issue a final costs certificate and serve it on the parties to the detailed assessment proceedings.

39.42     Rule 39.41 is subject to any order made by the Tribunal that a certificate is not to be issued until other costs have been paid.

39.43     A final costs certificate will include an order to pay the costs to which it relates, unless the Tribunal orders otherwise.

VI    COSTS OF DETAILED ASSESSMENT PROCEEDINGS

Liability for costs of detailed assessment proceedings

39.44     The receiving party is entitled to his costs of the detailed assessment proceedings except where –

(1)     the provisions of any enactment, any of these Rules or any relevant Practice Direction provide otherwise; or

(2)     the Tribunal makes some other order in relation to all or part of the costs of the detailed assessment proceedings.

39.45     In deciding whether to make some other order, the Tribunal must have regard to all the circumstances, including –

(1)    the conduct of all the parties;

(2)     the amount, if any, by which the bill of costs has been reduced; and

(3)     whether it was reasonable for a party to claim the costs of a particular item or to dispute that item.

Offers to settle without prejudice save as to costs of the detailed assessment proceedings

39.46     Where –

(1)     a party (whether the paying party or the receiving party) makes a written offer to settle the costs of the proceedings which gave rise to the assessment proceedings; and

(2)     the offer is expressed to be without prejudice save as to the costs of the detailed assessment proceedings, the Tribunal will take the offer into account in deciding who should pay the costs of those proceedings.

39.47     The fact of the offer must not be communicated to the Tribunal until the question of costs of the detailed assessment proceedings falls to be decided.