Professional fees and disbursements associated with deputyship cases can have a significant impact on personal injury and clinical negligence injury claims.
Our wealth of experience means that we are able to advise litigation lawyers on this specialist head of damage.
When do you need an expert witness statement
As leading Court of Protection lawyers we are frequently instructed by both claimant and defendant personal injury and clinical negligence lawyers to prepare expert witness statements addressing the likely future costs that will arise as a result of the appointment of a professional deputy. We also accept joint instructions.
In our view, as soon it is evident that the Claimant lacks capacity and liability has been admitted, deputyship should be considered. If a professional deputy is going to be appointed, an expert witness statement should be prepared, even if the application to the Court of Protection has not yet been made.
Our costs database
As a team, we keep detailed records of the costs incurred in our numerous deputyship cases, which have been assessed by the Senior Courts Costs Office. Our costs database provides us with an invaluable starting point for estimating likely deputyship costs in comparable cases. The database covers appointment costs, ongoing general management costs as well as costs of statutory will applications.
What should you expect from an expert witness statement
An expert witness statement should provide a detailed account of anticipated costs both pre and post settlement. Our starting point is always the average costs information from our database, but we then make allowances for relevant factors specific to the case. For example, we find that property purchases, particularly where there is a significant adaptation project, can have a significant impact on general management costs. Therefore it is important that this increased level of activity and input is reflected in the cost projections.
We think it is important to make provision for costs for the more unusual, one-off applications to the Court. This would deal with, for example, an application for a change of deputy. We also include a separate contingency fund to cover unforeseen situations. This would represent peaks in deputyship input during major events in the client’s life, such as a wedding, the birth of a child etc. The amount we would allow for a contingency fund would be determined principally by reference to the client’s age and life expectancy, but also by their characteristics and difficulties as a result of their brain injury.
Why Thomson Snell & Passmore
Partners in our Court of Protection team have been appointed as property and affairs deputies for more than 250 clients. The clients we work with are principally those who have suffered an acquired brain injury or birth trauma, as well as elderly clients.
We are privileged enough to have a wealth of experience on which to draw when preparing expert witness statements. No two cases are the same, but it is possible to see patterns emerge and make predictions based on our experience in other cases.
As our client base continues to grow, so too does our database. Our statements constantly evolve to reflect the most up to date costs data we have available to us. This ensures that our statements accurately reflect today’s figures, and enables us to tailor our statements to the individual needs and expectations of the client. This is a unique area of work, and there is no substitute for experience.