The Jackson reforms will lead to a rise in the number of costs disputes between solicitors and their clients, as well as demand for help with costs management, specialist costs lawyers have predicted.
Our latest news round-up reports on an apology over the sudden change in the Legal Ombudsman’s address, which affects all lawyers, a unique agreement between a law firm and a barrister, a crucial ruling on interest on costs, and the exit of the CLC’s chief executive.
An investigation into the benefits of cross-examination and disclosure could be next on the costs reform agenda, the Master of the Rolls has indicated. At the same time, an interim report into the national costs management pilot has found signs that it is producing benefits.
The government’s plans to reform the county courts have attracted criticism from both claimant and defendant lawyers as well as costs specialists – albeit for different reasons, with the lack of detail a particular bugbear.
News in brief: solicitors, accountants and IFAs join forces, "ABSs are future for conveyancing", and more
Our latest news round-up takes in an innovative partnership to combine financial, taxation and legal advice, an update on ABS applications, the role for ABSs in the conveyancing market, growing fraud claims against solicitors, support for provisional assessment, and new blood at the OLC.
The dispute over Leigh Day & Co’s £105m costs bill in the Trafigura litigation has settled before it could reach the Supreme Court, it has emerged, leaving costs specialists frustrated that the question of the date from which interest on costs runs remains unresolved.
The number of people choosing to train as a costs lawyer has almost doubled during 2011 as the impact of several major forces – including the Jackson reforms and the Legal Services Act – are felt in the costs sector, the Association of Costs Lawyers has reported.
The professional standards of costs lawyers will in future be independently assured after the Costs Lawyer Standards Board this week became their approved regulator. They can become partners in LDPs and are within the Legal Ombudsman’s jurisdiction.
Last week’s High Court ruling on the rates before-the-event legal expenses insurers should pay non-panel law firms “does not provide a blank cheque” to solicitors, a leading provider has warned. But ACL chief says it offers new opportunities for solicitors.
Lord Justice Jackson has urged an Association of Costs Lawyers working group looking at a new way of presenting solicitors’ costs to continue its work “with all due expedition”. It says costs should be presented by reference to ‘phases, tasks and activities’.