RECOVERY AND TAXATION OF COSTS
—(1) In this Part —
“court” means the High Court, a Judge when sitting in open court or in chambers, a District Court or a Magistrate’s Court and includes the Registrar;
“Registrar” means the Registrar of the Supreme Court or the Registrar of the Subordinate Courts, and includes —
the Deputy Registrar of the Supreme Court;
an Assistant Registrar of the Supreme Court; and
a Deputy Registrar of the Subordinate Courts;
“solicitor” includes the executors, administrators and assignees of the solicitor in question and a law corporation or a limited liability law partnership.
[4/2000; 35/2001; 41/2005; 19/2008]
(2) This Part —
shall apply to all remuneration and costs received by a Singapore law practice or a solicitor practising in a Singapore law practice, including any such remuneration or costs received in respect of the practice of foreign law; and
shall apply, with the necessary modifications, to all remuneration and costs received in respect of the practice of Singapore law by —
a Joint Law Venture or its constituent foreign law practice, a Qualifying Foreign Law Practice or a licensed foreign law practice; or
a solicitor or foreign lawyer registered by the Attorney-General under Part IXA to practise Singapore law.
—(1) Any court in which a solicitor has been employed to prosecute or defend any suit, matter or proceeding may —
at any time declare the solicitor entitled to a charge on the property recovered or preserved through his instrumentality for his taxed costs in reference to that suit, matter or proceeding; and
make such orders for the taxation of the costs and for paying, or raising money to pay, the costs out of that property as it thinks fit.
(2) All conveyances and acts done to defeat, or operating to defeat, the charge referred to in subsection (1)(a) shall, except in the case of a conveyance to a bona fide purchaser for value without notice, be void as against the solicitor.
—(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, no solicitor shall, except by leave of the court, commence or maintain any action for the recovery of any costs due for any business done by him until the expiration of one month after he has delivered to the party to be charged therewith, or sent by post to, or left with him at his office or place of business, dwelling-house or last known place of residence, a bill of those costs.
(2) The bill referred to in subsection (1) shall —
be signed —
by the solicitor;
in the case of a partnership, by one of the partners, either in his own name or in the name or style of the partnership, or by a solicitor employed by that solicitor or partnership;
in the case of a law corporation, by a director of, or by a solicitor employed by, that law corporation; or
in the case of a limited liability law partnership, by one of the partners of, or by a solicitor employed by, that limited liability law partnership; or
be enclosed in or accompanied by a letter, signed in the like manner, referring to the bill.
(3) Where a bill is proved to have been delivered in compliance with subsection (1), it shall not be necessary in the first instance for the solicitor to prove the contents of the bill and it shall be presumed until the contrary is shown to be a bill bona fide complying with this Act.
Court may authorise action for recovery of fees before expiration of one month after delivery of bills
119. The court may authorise a solicitor to commence an action for the recovery of his costs and also refer his bill of costs for taxation by the Registrar, although one month has not expired from the delivery of the bill, upon proof to its satisfaction that any party chargeable therewith is about to quit Singapore, or to have a receiving order made against him, or to compound with his creditors or to take any other steps or do any other act which in its opinion would tend to defeat or delay the solicitor in obtaining payment.
—(1) An order for the taxation of a bill of costs delivered by any solicitor may be obtained on an application made by originating summons or, where there is a pending action, by summons by the party chargeable therewith, or by any person liable to pay the bill either to the party chargeable or to the solicitor, at any time within 12 months from the delivery of the bill, or, by the solicitor, after the expiry of one calendar month and within 12 months from the delivery of the bill.
(2) The order shall contain such directions and conditions as the court thinks proper, and any party aggrieved by any such order may apply by summons that the order be amended or varied.
(3) In any case where a solicitor and his client consent to taxation of a solicitor’s bill, the Registrar may proceed to tax the bill notwithstanding that there is no order therefor.
—(1) The costs of obtaining an order for taxation of costs, including the application under section 120(1), order and service of order, but not including any court fees payable thereon or disbursements, if the order is obtained by the solicitor of the applicant, or by the solicitor, shall, subject to subsection (2), be the sum of $25 or such other sum as may be prescribed.
(2) If one of the parties holds out and does not agree to taxation, the costs of obtaining an order of court shall be the sum of $150 or such other sum as may be prescribed.
122. After the expiration of 12 months from the delivery of a bill of costs, or after payment of the bill, no order shall be made for taxation of a solicitor’s bill of costs, except upon notice to the solicitor and under special circumstances to be proved to the satisfaction of the court.
123. All applications made under section 120(1) by a party chargeable with or liable for a bill of costs shall, unless the bill has already been paid, contain a submission by that party to pay the amount thereof to the solicitor when taxed.
—(1) An order for the delivery of a solicitor’s bill of costs, and for delivery of any deeds, documents or other papers in the possession of the solicitor, subject to any lien which the solicitor may have, and for the taxation of the bill when delivered, may be obtained on an application made under section 120(1).
(2) Upon such application being filed, the Registrar shall mark the order thereon immediately, and draw up the order if necessary.
125. When an application is made by a party other than the party chargeable, the court may order the solicitor to deliver to the party making the application a copy of the bill of costs, upon payment of the costs of making the copy.
126. Bills of costs for taxation as between solicitor and client shall be drawn in the manner provided by the Rules of Court (Cap. 322, R 5), and the taxation shall be governed by those Rules.
127. The Registrar may allow interest, at such rate and from such time as he thinks just, on moneys disbursed by a solicitor for his client, and on moneys of the client in the hands of the solicitor and improperly retained by him.
—(1) In case any order for taxation is made upon the application of the party chargeable or liable, or of the solicitor, the costs of the order and taxation, except when the order has been made after the expiration of 12 months, shall be paid according to the event of the taxation —
if the bill when taxed is less by a sixth part than the bill delivered, then the solicitor shall pay the costs; or
if the bill when taxed is not less by a sixth part, then the party chargeable or liable, if the application is made by him, or if he attends the taxation, shall pay the costs.
(2) Every order for such a reference shall direct the Registrar to tax the costs of the reference, and to certify what, upon the reference, is found to be due to or from the solicitor in respect of the bill, and of the costs of the reference, if payable.
(3) The Registrar may certify specially any circumstances relating to the bill or taxation.
(4) The court may thereupon make any such order as it thinks right, respecting the payment of the costs of the taxation.
(5) Where such a reference is made, when it is not authorised except under special circumstances, the court may give any special directions relative to the costs of the reference.
—(1) Rules made under section 72 shall make provision for requiring a solicitor, in such cases as may be prescribed by those rules, either —
to keep, on deposit in a separate account at a bank for the benefit of the client, money received for or on account of a client; or
to make good to the client out of the solicitor’s own money a sum equivalent to the interest which would have accrued if the money so received had been so kept on deposit.
(2) The cases in which a solicitor may be required to act in accordance with any rules made under this section may be defined, among other things, by reference to the amount of any sum received or the period for which it is or is likely to be retained or both.
(3) Those rules may include provision for enabling a client (without prejudice to any other remedy) to require that any question arising under those rules in relation to the client’s money be referred to and determined by the Society.
(4) Subject to any rules made under this section, a solicitor shall not be liable by virtue of the relation between solicitor and client to account to any client for interest received by the solicitor on moneys deposited at a bank being moneys received or held for or on account of his clients generally.
(5) Nothing in this section, or in any rules made thereunder, shall —
affect any arrangement in writing, whenever made, between a solicitor and his client as to the application of the client’s money or interest thereon; or
apply to money received by a solicitor being money subject to a trust of which the solicitor is a trustee.
—(1) Nothing in this Act shall affect the right, which is hereby declared, of the Government when represented by any of such persons as are mentioned in section 29(2)(a) to recover costs awarded to it in, or respecting, any cause or matter.
(2) In any such cause or matter, the costs of the Government shall be taxed in accordance with any rules for the time being in force for the taxation of the fees and costs of advocates and solicitors as if an advocate and solicitor who is not in the service of the Government had appeared on behalf of the Government.