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.
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.
There is “no scintilla of doubt” that the Jackson reforms will be implemented but “twitchy solicitors” may play into the hands of civil servants by charging lower success fees – or even no success fees at all – as a result, a leading costs expert has said.