Amending the basis for awarding legal costs - Workplace Safety Legislation and Other Matters Amendment Act 2022
The Accident Compensation Act 1985 (AC Act) and the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (WIRC Act) included references to 'party and party' costs when describing when one party in litigation was required to pay the legal costs of another party.
The wording was considered outdated, as those words also referred to a no-longer used basis for assessing legal costs – the 'party and party' basis for assessing the amount of legal costs paid by one party to litigation in favour of another party. From 2013, the Rules of the Supreme Court, the County Court and the Magistrates' Court of Victoria have been progressively amended to remove references to 'party and party' and 'solicitor and client' costs and to prescribe 'standard' costs as the default basis for assessment of legal costs paid by one party in favour of another party.
Consistent with the Court Rules, WorkSafe has interpreted these sections as requiring costs as between party and party to be assessed on a standard basis. This amendment will ensure the legislation reflects current practice and the altered Court Rules.
No additional costs to the workers' compensation scheme will arise out of these changes.
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