Last updated more than 5 years ago
There may be a wide range of expenses incurred as a result of taking legal action.
Lawyers' fees and expenses
The main costs involved in taking legal action are lawyers' fees and expenses.
Each party, even if they win the case, must pay all their own legal expenses.
Judges may, however, exceptionally and on express demand, order the unsuccessful party to pay the other party procedural costs. These types of ruling are, however, often symbolic and only cover a portion of the lawyers' fees.
In many proceedings, the actions of a bailiff are crucial in serving the notice of the proceedings on the other party: (exceptionally, for cases brought before a Labour tribunal, for instance, it is the court clerk, rather than the bailiff, who summons the opposing party). Generally speaking, the services of a bailiff are also required for the enforcement of court orders.
Bailiffs always charge fees and the related costs must be paid by the party requiring the bailiff's services.
Unlike lawyers' fees and expenses, however, bailiff's fees can be recovered from the unsuccessful party, provided the said party is solvent.
Witness fees and paying for legal experts
In civil proceedings, the losing party will ultimately be responsible for paying witness fees (paid to witnesses in court proceedings to compensate them for travel/accommodation costs and for their time lost as a result of the proceedings) as well as for paying any legal experts' fees. Sometimes judges order costs to be shared between the various parties to the proceedings.