Legal and Court Costs Review
The Costs Review Committee was established by Section 75 of the Legal Practitioners Decree 2009 and which came into force on 1st January 1998. The Committee had its first meeting on 22nd July 1998.
Section 76 of the Act prescribes the role of the Committee. The Committee has the statutory function to biennially review:
- the schedule of fees by which are calculated the amount of costs payable by one party to another pursuant to an order for costs made by a Court of Judge in any proceedings; and
- the schedule of fees which in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, are properly payable by a client to a practitioner, with a view to establishing a fair and reasonable level of fees.
In reviewing the said Schedules, the Committee is required to simplify the Schedules paying particular attention to the form of such schedules. Moreover, the underlying rationale that any amendment done should be aimed at ensuring that the taxing officer’s role in the calculation of costs is decreased is also statutorily provided.
Whilst the Schedule of Costs are there to assist those who seek redress in the judicial system to have a fair idea of what the legal costs are likely to be in any given scenario, it is not exclusive in nature. That is, solicitors and their clients are still free to reach an agreement on the costs payable which is outside of the schedule of fees as prescribed.
The membership of this Committee is prescribed by law as follows:
- the Solicitor-General or his or her nominee who shall be Chairperson;
- two persons appointed by the Fiji Law Society;
- a person, not being a legal practitioner or a public servant, appointed by the Attorney-General after consultation with members of the insurance industry.
Any appointment made to this Committee shall not exceed two years in duration but may be renewed and may be terminated at any time by the person entitled to make the appointment or nomination.
- Mr. Christopher Pryde - Solicitor-General
- Mr Subhas Parshotam - Fiji Law Society Nominee
- Mr Gajarajan Rajakumar - Insurance Council of Fiji representative
The Office of the Solicitor-General provides the secretarial support for the Committee.
Secretarial Team Members are:
- Ms Mereoni Kalokalodrau
- Mrs Mere Rakuita-Vuniwaqa