Thus, the court found that there is no absolute right to an assessment; but rather that right is subject to the rules of the court. As such, where the paying party acts in such a way as to frustrate the overriding objective, the court is entitled to refuse to allow them to be heard. At  the judgment states that if the right were absolute:
“…one would reach the absurd position in which all assessments of costs under the Solicitors’ Act 1974 would be ungoverned and ungovernable by any procedure and the paying party would be entitled to demand a hearing before the court of indeterminate length, whatever that party’s behaviour and whether or not such a hearing would be proportionate in all the circumstances.”
Part 46 and 47
The court held that, where part 46 CPR is silent, Part 47 applies. That means that PD47 8.2 (relating to points of dispute) is relevant to solicitor and client assessments and, in particular, the guidance at Precedent G (which is the costs precedent for points of dispute) applies to these cases.
The court rejected Mr. Ainsworth’s submission that his points of dispute were compliant with precedent G. Indeed, it was argued that the points served in this case were more detailed than those in the costs precedent.
The court held that:
“Common sense dictates that the points of dispute must be drafted in a way which enables the parties and the court to determine precisely what is in dispute and why. That is the very purposes of such a document. It is necessary in order to enable the receiving party, the solicitor in this case, to be able to reply to the complaints. It is also necessary in order to enable the court to deal with the issues raised in a manner which is fair, just and proportionate.” 
In a solicitor and client matter, the points must be formulated by reference to the presumptions at r.46.9. In other words, they must address whether the client is arguing that the item is unusual in nature or amount (and say why if so) and allow the solicitor to be in a position to rely upon the presumptions in their favour (namely that the item was incurred with the express or implied approval of the client). Any points of dispute which do not allow such consideration will not be compliant and would be liable to be struck out.
The principle, which the court said was “very simple” was set out as follows:
“In order to deal with matters of this kind fairly, justly and proportionately, it is necessary that both the recipient and the court can tell why an item is disputed. The recipient must be placed in a position in which it can seek to justify the items which are in dispute.” 
As to precedent G, the court agreed with the Respondent that the document is:
“…only an example and is premised upon a party and party detailed assessment in which the paying party will not have had sight of the relevant documentation and the presumptions in CPR 46.9(3) do not apply… it is only a simple example of the kind of challenges to items which might arise in a party and party assessment.”
Nevertheless, it is an example of the form in which points of dispute should be drafted so far as is practicable, whether in solicitor and client cases or between the parties assessment. The dangers of relying upon the content of the simple example in precedent G was made clear by the court when dismissing the Appellant’s case:
“Points of Dispute 10 was general in nature and stated that all items were disputed, that the list provided was not exhaustive of the issues but provided a general overview and that Mr Ainsworth reserved his position generally. It did not contain cross references to the numbers of the items disputed on particular grounds. In fact, it was accepted that it did not state why any item in the bill was disputed. In my judgment, therefore, it did not comply with 47PD.8 para 8.2, nor, for that matter, did it take the form of Precedent G.”