What is disbursement? 

A disbursement is the payment of money from a public or dedicated fund. It is simply a noun describing the spending or distributing of money. 

Examples include cash expenditures, dividend payments, and money paid out to run a business. 

The term disbursement is often used to refer to a payments made by a solicitor to a third party and then claimed back from the client. Section 67 of the UK Solicitors Act 1974 refers to disbursements as “costs payable in discharge of a liability properly incurred by [the solicitor] on behalf of the party to be charged with the bill”.

Typical disbursements in a personal liability case may include the costs of photocopying, medical reports, and private investigator reports.