David Foxton QC held recently, (sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court in Campbell v Campbell  EWHC 1828 (Ch)) that a Litigant in Person, (a person representing themselves, without having an instructed solicitor to act for them), could not recover the costs they had incurred on obtaining advice from a lawyer based outside the jurisdiction of England and Wales.
The party had attempted to claim the costs of advice they had received from their lawyers who were based and permitted to practice in Jersey, (who were not dual qualified in England and Wales). It was held that this was because they were not qualified to conduct litigation in England and Wales and so were equivalent to a McKenzie Friend (a person who assists a Litigant in Person at a court hearing for things such as note taking, organising papers and documents, making discrete suggestions, etc), the costs for whom were not recoverable.
Reference was made to another earlier case, (Agassi v Robinson (Inspector of Taxes)(Costs) EWCA), in which it was held that the costs a Litigant in Person had incurred for Tax advisers, who specialised in that area, could not be recovered as a disbursement because they were not provided by or under the supervision of a legal representative.
It is therefore key for Litigants in Person to appreciate that it is not simply a matter of the relevance of experience or costs of assistance, but who is qualified in that jurisdiction and providing the service.
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Article by Simon Beasley, Senior Associate, Griffin Law