Please note that it is our policy that we do not enter into payment conditions of the amount negotiated of any bill of costs. Any signed allocatur is immediately executable - subject to the usual 10 day gentlemen's agreement to pay such costs. We will negotiate and calculate the end figure but any payment conditions you wish to add to the settlement will need to be done between the attorneys. Under no circumstances will we be part of such negotiations. It serves no purpose other than to open a door to possible complexities, whereas the bill is payable immediately after taxation in any event.
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It is important to note that the scanning of an average size file is included in the 10.6% drafting fee. We are the only costs consultants who offer our clients a virtual office together with a highly professional legal costs service.
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The Taxing Master has to give effect to an order of court or agreement between the parties and may not make such an order by proceeding with a taxation without a court order.
Hugo v Hugo 1947 (1) SA 325 (O) at 329 – An order for costs in a divorce action does not include the costs of the interlocutory applications, such as applications for maintenance pendente lite or an application for a contribution towards costs (unless of course the costs of the proceedings were made costs in the cause.
In the same sense, the court has to specifically order what is to happen to the wasted costs of a postponement.
The principle therefor is the court has to give the Taxing Master directions by way of a court order) as to what is to happen with the costs. The Taxing Master has no discretion in this regard.
The issue of claiming VAT on fees and disbursements in your bill depends on the question whether you will be out of pocket or not.
The scenario is as follows:
A. You are a VAT vendor, you receive a tax invoice for R100-00 +VAT, you pay the VAT and claim it back, you are out of pocket with R100-00 – you claim the R100-00 in the bill, it is taxed and R100-00 is refunded to you (or a % thereof) – it is not income for which you have supplied goods or services, you have not issued a tax invoice so you do not have to declare it and pay any VAT on it to SARS. The unsuccessful litigant pays R100-00 in terms of the taxed bill - no claim for VAT against SARS. SARS received R14-00 from the supplier of goods or services and paid it back to you – not out of pocket.
B. You are not a VAT vendor, you receive a tax invoice for R100-00 +VAT, you pay the VAT but cannot claim it back, you are out of pocket with R114-00 – you claim the R100-00 + VAT in the bill, it is taxed and R100-00 + VAT is refunded to you (or a % thereof) – it is not income for which you have supplied goods or services, you have not issued a tax invoice so you do not have to declare it and pay any VAT on it to SARS, you receive no benefit, your out of pocket expenses (R100-00 + VAT ) or a portion thereof is merely refunded. The unsuccessful litigant pays R114-00 in terms of the taxed bill but has no claim for VAT against SARS, because there is no tax invoice, no goods sold or services rendered. SARS received R14-00 from the supplier or goods and/or services – not out of pocket.
PARTY AND PARTY COSTS
Party and Party costs are those costs recoverable from the other side provided there is a costs order or agreement to pay the costs. The following also constitutes only Party and Party costs and nothing more:
We employ a panel of admitted attorneys/counsel with the right of appearance in all forums in South Africa as well as 12 costs "draftsmen" and 3 ex-Taxing Masters of the High Court/Arbitration Forum.
We serve several large private companies, close corporations, as well as most of the leading attorney firms throughout South Africa.
Our firm has several excellent references of previous large legal costs instructions completed such as the costs involved in the Tollgate saga, Club Mykonos Langebaan Debenture Holders, multiple Metrorail matters, complex motor vehicle accident claims, intricate commercial contracts, complex maritime matters, medical negligence claims etc.