Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Northern Ireland Courts And Tribunals Service would like to place cookies on your computer to help make this website better. To find out more about the cookies, see our Privacy Policy.

The Process of High Court Civil Bills in the Court of Judicature Northern Ireland Taxing Office

All bills must be lodged with the following information:

  • Statement of Parties
  • All Court Orders, Decree Nisi
  • All Legal Aid Certificates
  • Travel Certificates/Disbursement Certificates 
  • Any vouching documentation - counsel fees/receipts etc
  • Bill Of Costs
  • Summary Page

If the bills are not lodged in this manner they will not be accepted by the office.

Where a Solicitor can certify that all disbursements under £300.00 excluding Counsel fees have been paid a Disbursement Certificate will be accepted when the Bill is being lodged.

Once all of the above has been completed, before the bill can be lodged in the office the grid must be completed concerning the 5% stamp duty.Please see attached example for your ease of reference.

When the bill is received by the office it will be checked, registered onto the system and allocated a case number.

After the case has been registered it will go through the checking process.  This is were the counsel fees will be checked against the fee notes provided, the attendance claimed at hearings are verified against the times recorded on the Court Orders along with  the travel expenses and any other disbursements relating to the case.

The bill is then sent to the Master for taxation or listed before the Master for taxation. Any bill in which a responding or notice party is responsible for paying the costs is automatically listed before the Master with the exception of bills arising from Matrimonial proceedings – a hearing will be listed before the Master only if the Responding party responds correctly to a 14 day notice.  All bills which are lodged on a legal aid basis are not listed before the Master unless a specific request is made within 14 days of receipt of the provisional notice of assessment.  Once completed, it will be returned to the office for the assessment and stamp duty to be calculated and forwarded onto the Costs Drawer or Solicitor, depending on who originally lodged the bill.

If the Cost Drawer or Solicitor objects to the assessment a hearing can be requested before the Master to enable the objecting party to put their views forward.  However if they accept the assessment the stamp duty must be paid. 

All vouching must be carried out within one calendar month from the date of issue of the notice or the item will be disallowed, except in special circumstances to be decided by the Master.  If there is a reason why vouching cannot be completed within this time a written explanation will have to be given to The Master for his consideration.

When the stamp duty has been paid and all vouching has been verified the Certificate of Taxation can issue.  The Certificate must then be sent to the Legal Services Commission for payment.

The document below needs to be completed when submitting a bill for taxation as it relates to the initial 5% stamp duty (Court Fee) that is payable.  All of the figures are taken from the bill of costs. 

Profit Costs – Can be taken from the summary page of the bill. 

Vat on 95% Profit Costs - If the Solicitor is VAT registered the total profit cost figure above must be multiplied by 20% (depending on the current rate of VAT) and 95% (for Legal Aid only Bills, for Party & Party multiply by the rate of VAT when the proceedings are completed)

Counsel Fees – Refer back to the bill of costs and total the amount that counsel wish to claim.

VAT on 95% Counsel Fees – This is only to be completed if your Counsel is VAT registered.  If you take the total amount multiply by 20% (depending on the current rate of VAT) and by 95%.  *(for Legal Aid only bills, for Party & Party multiply by the rate of VAT when the proceedings are completed)

Other Disbursements – Total all of the figures other than Counsel Fees and record here.

VAT on other Disbursements – The VAT claimed for other disbursements if any, must be totalled.

Sub Total – All of the above amounts to be added together.

Stamp Duty at 5% - The sub total amount must then be multiplied by 5%.  The amount calculated must then be sent to the Taxing Office along with the bill of costs to be assessed by the Taxing Master. The maximum initial stamp duty which is payable is set at £3,500.00

 You can download a Application form to submit for Taxation of Bill of Costs by using this link.