- February 25, 2021
Assessment of fees under the Solicitors Act 1974: Masters v Charles Fussell and Co LLP
The thorny issue of a client’s rights to a Solicitors Act 1974 assessment of fees has raised its head again recently in Masters v Charles Fussell & Co LLP. Quite rightly within that statute are timelines or limits on the client’s rights to such an assessment. A client cannot reasonably turn around months, or even years, after the event … Continue reading Assessment of fees under the Solicitors Act 1974: Masters v Charles Fussell and Co LLP →
- October 29, 2020
The waning relevance of the guideline hourly rates
On 16 September 2020, Practical Law Dispute Resolution reported that the Civil Justice Council (CJC) established a Working Group, chaired by Stewart J, to conduct an evidence-based review of the basis and amount of the guideline hourly rates (GHRs). The establishment of the Working Group was swiftly followed by a “request for evidence”, with the … Continue reading The waning relevance of the guideline hourly rates →
- February 21, 2020
SRA Code of Conduct: costs implications for solicitors
Skimming through the SRA Code of Conduct for Solicitors introduced in November last year, I am tasked with considering any costs implications thereof. This is not something that I have had to consider before, as knowing there was/is a code, and merely checking the relevant provisions when referenced, would usually have been enough for a … Continue reading SRA Code of Conduct: costs implications for solicitors →
- January 17, 2020
Guideline hourly rates: time for a review
The guideline hourly rates (GHR) are coming up to an unwelcome ten year anniversary since the last time they were updated.
- August 15, 2019
Testing the electronic bill of costs at court
It has been some time since the electronic bill of costs has been compulsory and those that have been prepared this way are beginning to surface at court. Although I have not personally had the pleasure of testing one yet, I did have an interesting opening point in Oxford County Court recently and I have … Continue reading Testing the electronic bill of costs at court →
- March 18, 2019
Adding costs of previous unsuccessful claim: Playboy Club London Ltd v Banca Nazionale del Lavora SpA
In Playboy Club London Ltd v Banca Nazionale del Lavora SpA, leave was given to amend particulars of claim to add the adverse costs of a previously unsuccessful related negligence claim involving the same parties.
- February 11, 2019
ACL annual conference 2018 survey results
Solicitors continue to rack up costs in excess of court-approved budgets, but there are signs of improvement, according to the survey of my fellow costs lawyers.
- December 14, 2018
When to address proportionality
Proportionality may not be the only issue to debate in the costs world right now, but it’s probably the biggest one.
- October 25, 2018
Standing up for costs lawyers: Allen v Brethertons LLP
It is now 11 years since the Legal Services Act 2007 (LSA) was passed and eight since the regulatory regime it created fully came into being. And still, unfortunately, there are those elsewhere in the legal profession who do not recognise the difference between costs lawyers and costs draftsmen.
- October 8, 2018
Staying a consent order pending professional negligence proceedings: Riordan and others v Moon Beever Solicitors
Earlier this year, the High Court ruled that a Senior Courts Costs Office (SCCO) master was entitled to stay a consent order relating to detailed assessment because the clients were planning professional negligence proceedings against the solicitors.
- September 12, 2018
Were lawyers ready for the electronic bill of costs?
We are five months into the compulsory electronic bill of costs and so far all is quiet. Obviously it will take time before cases affected by the change hit the courts, but research undertaken by the Association of Costs Lawyers has shown that many solicitors and judges were not ready for the new bill when … Continue reading Were lawyers ready for the electronic bill of costs? →
- June 14, 2018
Reduction in hourly rates for incurred costs: Jallow v Ministry of Defence
The question of whether a reduction in hourly rates for incurred costs is a good reason to do the same to budgeted costs is a big one at the moment, absent higher court authority. Recently, Master Rowley in the Senior Courts Costs Office (SCCO) had his say, and joined what seems to be the majority … Continue reading Reduction in hourly rates for incurred costs: Jallow v Ministry of Defence →
- April 3, 2018
Incurred costs: Tucker v Griffiths and Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
In May 2017, Master Rowley handed down judgment in Tucker v Griffiths and Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, dealing with various issues arising as preliminary points in a detailed assessment. The case centred on an alleged mis-certification of the claimant’s budget and, flowing from that, also dealt with hourly rates and good reason to depart … Continue reading Incurred costs: Tucker v Griffiths and Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust →
- January 8, 2018
Our survey says: ACL’s findings on costs budgeting
Costs budgeting, as we know it today, has been around for less than four years. It was only last June in Harrison v University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust that the Court of Appeal provided much needed clarification on the approach to be adopted by costs judges on detailed assessment on departing from approved … Continue reading Our survey says: ACL’s findings on costs budgeting →
- April 13, 2017
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.
- October 13, 2016
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.