Posts from Association of Costs Lawyers

Budgeting: a good reason to depart?

In the past, perhaps the mention of costs budgeting itself was good reason for many a law practitioner to depart hastily from a conversation. However, this complex issue has been further complicated by the inevitable fall-out of the decision in Harrison v University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust, where the Court of Appeal determined … Continue reading Budgeting: a good reason to depart?

Harrison and the risks of the inability to stick to costs budgets: ACL survey

The Court of Appeal’s recent ruling in Harrison v University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust was not so much a gentle nudge to solicitors on the importance of costs budgeting, but a sharp elbow in the ribs.

Set-off and qualified one-way costs shifting (QOCS): what comes first?

You are faced with a claim for personal injuries and you make a Part 36 offer with a view to affording costs protection. It transpires that your Part 36 offer is successful and you look to recover your costs. By way of illustration:

An exchange (rate) of views: compensating for currency differentials

Back in 2009, my client, a multinational law firm, obtained an award for costs in a piece of litigation for the European Central Bank. Needless to say, its client was invoiced in euros, by reference to euro hourly rates, yet the assessment of costs proceeded by reference to figures converted into sterling.

Sarpd Oil International v Addax Energy SA and another: managing the costs of a changing landscape

By the end of 2015, the majority of litigation practitioners had become accustomed to the intricacies of costs management. Whilst the occasional surprise continued to occur before some district judges, after almost three years the majority of kinks in the system had been resolved. However, the status quo was upset in January 2016 by the … Continue reading Sarpd Oil International v Addax Energy SA and another: managing the costs of a changing landscape

More workable bill of costs launched by ACL

A new format for the good old bill of costs is sneaking up on the profession with increasing speed.

Better the devil you know? Statistics from ACL members’ survey: attitudes to costs management

We are more than three years into costs management and it is fair to say that lawyers are still a long way from getting fully to grips with the practice.

Signia Wealth v Marlborough Trust Company: a growing enthusiasm for costs budgeting?

The widely reported chief Chancery master’s decision in Signia Wealth Ltd v Marlborough Trust Company Ltd & another indicates a marked departure in approach by the court from the early days of the Jackson reforms and costs budgeting.

Mediate or not, that is the question

Any advice given to clients should be tempered, as far as possible, with how that advice may impact on them in the future, as well as with how a judge might view that advice in determining the reasonableness of a decision taken on its basis. To my knowledge, nobody has a crystal ball to see into the future, … Continue reading Mediate or not, that is the question

ACL members’ survey: reactions to costs management and the new bill of costs

Every year the Association of Costs Lawyers undertakes a survey of members. This year we received 126 responses, which amounts to more than a fifth of our membership.

When is it reasonable for a claimant to change from legal aid to a conditional fee agreement (CFA)?

This is a key question that has been asked by many civil litigation practitioners, particularly following implementation of the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO).

Costs management changes in the 83rd CPR update: increased opportunity for agreement

Since costs management was introduced in April 2013, one of its key difficulties has been the strain that it has placed on the court’s resources. In part, this is due to often hotly contested arguments over the party’s respective budgets. The pressure became so great in the RCJ that cost budgeting in clinical negligence matters … Continue reading Costs management changes in the 83rd CPR update: increased opportunity for agreement