Legal Costs: Instruction fees in Class Actions

Legal Costs: Instruction fees in Class Actions

Webber Newdigate was recently involved in a matter pertaining to the taxation of legal costs which was heard in the Appeal Court in Lesotho. Webber Newdigate acted for the Appellants against a judgment from the High Court on the review of the Taxing Mater’s decision in respect of a claim for the taking of instructions.

The facts were that there were 1,382 Applicants. When it came to taxing the Bill of Costs, the Applicants claimed a fee for taking instructions in respect of each client and in the amount of M414,600.00. The Taxing Master reduced this to M241,859.00 on the basis that the instructions given were similar and that it was therefore unlikely that the full sum of M414,600.00 had been incurred.

The High Court held that the M241,850.00 was still excessive and reduced this to M30,000.00.

The Court of Appeal reduced the fee even further – to M400.00. The Court reviewed the principles which apply in respect of the review of taxation as well as the considerations regarding the taking of instructions.

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