The Office of the Legal Costs Adjudicators (OLCA) determined 227 cases last year, allowing €10.5 million of costs.
Figures in its annual report show that, in cases that the OLCA determined, just over one-third of costs were disallowed – roughly in line with the 2021 figure.
The office received 943 applications last year – an increase of 7% from 2021.
The monetary value of the 902 valid applications filed for adjudication was €192.4 million – a sharp rise compared with the figure of €110.3 million recorded in 2021.
Waiting times steady
Cases on hand at the end of 2022 were valued at €178.4 million – €5 million higher than at the same time a year earlier.
The OLCA was set up under the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015, with the aim of modernising the system of determining legal costs, and making the process more transparent.
Chief Legal Costs Adjudicator Paul Behan said that waiting times for securing a hearing date were consistent with last year – about seven weeks from the date of an approved adjudication application.
During the year, there were 272 adjudication sitting days – 90 of which were remote.
The office said that it had continued to operate a weekly remote call-over and case-management list that was initiated during COVID restrictions, as this had proven to be “a valuable case-management tool” for both adjudicators, and legal practitioners.
During 2022, the category with the highest number of applications was road-traffic accidents (200), but the highest amount claimed (€48.2 million) related to medical-negligence cases.
The report also shows that 550 disputed cases worth €103.3 million were settled through mediation or other informal resolution processes.