Taxing a bill of costs in the face of a conflict of a fixed fee arrangement

In Composting Engineering (Pty) Ltd v The Taxing Master 1985 (3) SA 249 (C), Judge Berman reaffirmed a standing principle that it is not the function of the taxing master to decide whether or not a specific mandate (such as a fixed fee arrangement) had been given by a client to an attorney, as this is a function of the court. Judge Berman added to this standing principle by holding that, in the face of a conflict between the existence and scope of a specific mandate, until such time as the court has resolved the conflict, the taxing master should not proceed with taxation.