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Costs in regulatory or disciplinary proceedings

In many types of legal claim, the general rule is that the winner also wins their costs of fighting the case. The situation in regulatory and disciplinary proceedings is different and the person or practice defending themselves almost always has to pay their own costs, even if they successfully defend themselves against the prosecution. In certain professions, the prosecuting regulator can also seek its costs of bringing the case from the person or practice it has prosecuted, even if the prosecution has failed. Only in exceptional circumstances will a regulator be ordered to pay the costs of the professional or practice, for instance when it has been found that a regulatory body has acted unreasonably or improperly in bringing the case.

The rationale behind the difference to the general rule is that a professional regulator carries out its duties and brings prosecutions to uphold standards, to protect the public and in the wider public interest. The importance of the regulator’s role means it should not be penalised by having to pay another party’s costs when it carries out its duties and bring prosecutions reasonably and properly, including when it brings a prosecution that fails. 

If your case goes to an appeal after a full hearing of the allegations against you, the general rule again applies and the winner of the appeal is usually awarded the costs of the appeal proceedings.

If you have any questions about the information on this page, you can contact us on 020 3780 0406 or at RDteam@leighday.co.uk 

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