Language of document : ECLI:EU:F:2014:221


(Second Chamber)

17 September 2014

Case F‑21/10 DEP

Luigi Marcuccio


European Commission

(Civil service — Procedure — Taxation of costs — Article 92 of the Rules of Procedure — Representation of an institution by a lawyer — Lawyer’s fees — Recoverable costs — Claim for default interest)

Application:      for taxation of recoverable costs under Article 92 of the Rules of Procedure, brought by the European Commission following the order in Marcuccio v Commission (F‑21/10, EU:F:2011:24).

Held:      The total amount of costs to be reimbursed by Mr Marcuccio to the European Commission in respect of the recoverable costs in Case F‑21/10 Marcuccio v Commission is fixed at EUR 3 065. Interest for late payment will be paid on the sum referred to in paragraph 1 from the date of service of the present order to the date of its actual payment, at the rate set by the European Central Bank for its principal refinancing operations in force on the first day of the calendar month of the deadline for payment, increased by three and a half percentage points.


1.      Judicial proceedings — Costs — Taxation — Recoverable costs — Expenses necessarily incurred by the parties — Fees paid by an institution to its lawyer — Included — Elements to be taken into consideration for the purposes of taxation

(Statute of the Court of Justice, Art. 19, first para., and Annex I, Art. 7(1))

2.      Judicial proceedings — Costs — Taxation — Default interest

(Rules of Procedure of the Civil Service Tribunal, Arts 81 to 83 and 92)

1.      As is apparent from the first paragraph of Article 19 of the Statute of the Court of Justice, applicable before the Civil Service Tribunal pursuant to Article 7(1) of Annex I to that Statute, the institutions are free to have recourse to the assistance of a lawyer. The latter’s remuneration is therefore covered by the concept of expenses necessarily incurred for the purposes of the proceedings, without the institution being required to show that such assistance is objectively warranted.

Concerning the determination of the amount of recoverable lawyer’s fees, the Union judicature is not empowered to tax the fees payable by the parties to their own lawyers but it may determine the amount of those fees which may be recovered from the party ordered to pay the costs. When ruling on an application for taxation of costs, it is not obliged to take account of any national scales of lawyers’ fees or any agreement in that regard between the party concerned and his agents or advisers.

Similarly, the fixed nature of the remuneration has no effect on the Tribunal’s assessment of the amount recoverable by way of costs, since it bases its decisions on well-established criteria laid down by case-law and precise information which the parties must provide to it. Whilst the absence of such information does not preclude the Civil Service Tribunal fixing the amount of the recoverable costs on the basis of an equitable assessment, it nonetheless places it in a situation where its assessment of the applicant’s claims must necessarily be strict.

Likewise, the amount of the institution’s lawyer’s fees that are recoverable cannot be evaluated without taking into consideration the work carried out, even before the matter was brought before the Civil Service Tribunal, by the legal services of the institution. Since the admissibility of an action is subject to the prior introduction of a complaint and its rejection by the appointing authority, the legal services of the institution are in principle involved in dealing with disputes even before such disputes are brought before the Civil Service Tribunal.

As regards the scale of the work involved in the pre-litigation procedure, it is for the courts of the Union to make a fair assessment of the work necessary for the purpose of the main proceedings when determining how many hours the lawyer worked.

(see paras 18-20, 22, 30)


orders in Marcuccio v Commission, T‑278/07 P-DEP, EU:T:2013:269, para. 20; and Marcuccio v Commission, T‑366/10 P-DEP, EU:T:2014:63, para. 33 and the case-law cited therein

order in Chatzidoukakis v Commission, F‑84/10 DEP, EU:F:2014:41, paras 21, 22 and 24 and the case-law cited therein

2.      Pursuant to Article 92 of the Rules of Procedure of the Civil Service Tribunal, the Tribunal alone has the power to declare that a party must pay default interest on an order as to costs delivered by the Tribunal, and to fix the applicable rate.

It is clear from Articles 81 to 83 of the Rules of Procedure that orders as such are not delivered. They must show the date of their adoption and are binding from the date of their service. It follows that a party seeking default interest from the date of delivery of the order to be adopted must be regarded as requesting the Civil Service Tribunal to order default interest on the recoverable costs only from the date of service of the order fixing the costs. Thus, the party is entitled to default interest on the amount of recoverable costs fixed by the court, from the service of the order fixing the costs to actual payment of those costs.

(see paras 34, 36, 37)


order in Marcuccio v Commission, T‑450/10 P-DEP, EU:T:2014:32, para. 47

order in Chatzidoukakis v Commission, EU:F.2014:41, para. 38 and the case-law cited therein