Present : Lascelles C.J. and De> Sampayo A.J.DAWBAREN v. RYOL.
10—D G. Kandy, 21,101.
Costs—Consultation fee—Conference between one advocate and proctor isnot consultation.
The term *' consultation " as used in the schedule HI, to theOiyil Procedure Code does not refer to a meeting of one advocatewith a proctor.
PPEAL from an order of the Acting District Judge of Kandy(P. E. Pieris, Esq.). The facts appear from the judgment.
Allan Drieberg, for the appellant.—The word “ consultation ” hasgained a definite meaning in Ceylon, and is issued in practice to referto the meeting of an advocatei and a proctor for the purpose ofdiscussing the points arising in a case. The District Judge was notjustified in disallowing the consultation fees.
Hayley, for the respondent.—The term “ consultation ” is defined.as the meeting of two or more counsel with the solicitor. The meetingof a solicitor and counsel is a-conference. We could not give theterm a new meaning in Ceylon.
Counsel referred to (1914) Annual Practice 1262; 10 ProbateDivision 243; Ramanathan 1843-55, 111.
Drieberg, in reply.—The case in Ramanathan is not in point.
Cur. adv. vult.
February 13, 1914. De Sampayo A.J.—
This isf an appeal from an order of the District Judge in review ofthe taxation of the defendant's bill of costs. The minor itemsobjected to involve no matter of principle except perhaps item No. 18,with regard to which it is stated that* the District Judge has notfollowed the rate per folio provided in .the schedule to the CivilProcedure Code. But we do not know how many folios there were,and have no material for judging whether the reduction of the itemNo. 18 from Rs. 3.94 to Re. 1.94 is wrong. It is true that theDistrict Judge has not given, as he ought to have, his reasons forstriking out or reducing these minor items, but they involve verysmall sums, and, on the whole, I have no reason to think that he came.to a wrong conclusion. The only matter of importance which we
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need consider is that which relates to the question of consultation- 19$^fees for counsel. There was only one advocate engaged! on behalf De sZmtayo
of the defendant, and the . District Judge has disallowed six itemsof Rs. 21 each included in the bill of costs as for consultation, on theground that to constitute a consultation there must be at least twocounsel, and that “ consultation fees M have no reference to con-ferences between counsel and proctor. Here the District Judge isright as regards the technical meaning of the words. Under theEnglish practice the term “ consultation " signifies a meeting of twoor more counsel with the solicitor, and ** conference ” is the properterm to signify a meeting between a counsel and the solicitor. Thereis no provision in the schedule of costs for a fee for the advocate fora " conference ” properly so called. It is argued, however, that theterm 4* consultation ,f is used in the schedule to .the Civil ProcedureCode in a large sense, and includes a meeting of even one advocate-wif-h the proctor, and reference is made to what is said to be under-stood thereby in ordinary in practice in Ceylon. Even if the practice*were as stated, now that the question has been raised, we have to con-sider whether such a practice would be justified. In the old Rules andOrders the same expression occurs, and in Forma v. Kiri Ukkoova 1the Supreme Court disallowed an item for consultation, with theremark that “ when an advocate is paid a fee for consultation, it isunderstood that there must be another advocate with whom toconsult. ” That case, no doubt, was a peculiar one, as it concernedan advocate who had irregularly acted a6 a proctor and, sought totax his bill of costs, but the opinion of the Court on this point didnot turn upon that circumstance. That opinion ia in accordancewith the English rule, and 1 cannot think that the Civil ProcedureCode,- which practically took over the heads of charges for an advocate-from the old Rules and Orders, intended to use the expression“ consultation fee ” in an extended sense. With regard to theactual practice in our Courts- at the present time, we thought it rightto make 6ome inquiry as to what is done in the District Court ofColombo, and the District Judge has been good enough to informus that a consultation fee is only allowed to an advocate where thereare two or more advocates. The practice .then, at least in the chiefDistrict Court of the Island, is in accordance with the strict meaningof the expression, and should, I think, be generally followed.
In my opinion the appeal fails, and should be dismissed with costs*
I entirely agree.- The .term “ consultation ” as used in a»schedule of costs is a technical expression, to which the correct legalsignificance should be given.
'Bam. 1843-55, 111.
DAWBAREN v. RYOL