As a general rule at common law, a self-represented litigant may not obtain by court order any recompense for the value of his or her time spent in litigation. However, under a long-standing exception to that rule (called the “Chorley exception”), a self-represented litigant who happens to be a solicitor, may recover his or her professional costs of acting in the litigation. However the High Court has now held that not only would it not extend the Chorley exception to barristers but that the exception should not be recognised as part of the common law at all: Bell Lawyers Pty Ltd v Pentelow  HCA 29 (4 September 2019).
Kiefel CJ, Bell, Keane and Gordon JJ (Gageler and Edelman JJ concurring) said: “… the Chorley exception is not only anomalous, it is an affront to the fundamental value of equality of all persons before the law. It cannot be justified by the considerations of policy said to support it. Accordingly, it should not be recognised as part of the common law of Australia.”
Their Honours also explained:
(at para 18) “It may be said immediately that the view that it is somehow a benefit to the other party that a solicitor acts for himself or herself, because the expense to be borne by the losing party can be expected to be less than if an independent solicitor were engaged, is not self-evidently true. A self-representing solicitor, lacking impartial and independent advice that the court expects its officers to provide to the litigants they represent, may also lack objectivity due to self-interest. That may, in turn, result in higher legal costs to be passed on to the other party in the event that the self-representing solicitor obtains an order for his or her costs.”
Their Honours added at para 50: “A decision by this Court that the Chorley exception is not part of the common law of Australia would not disturb the well-established understanding in relation to in-house lawyers employed by governments and others, that where such a solicitor appears in proceedings to represent his or her employer the employer is entitled to recover costs in circumstances where an ordinary party would be so entitled by way of indemnity.” 4.
(at para 19) “Importantly, the view that solicitors should be encouraged to act for themselves is contrary to the modern orthodoxy that it is undesirable, as a matter of professional ethics, for a solicitor to act for himself or herself in litigation.”