A “revolutionary” online tool aimed at enabling solicitors to comply with the requirements of costs management has been launched by a well-known costs lawyer. Omnia – the brainchild of Sue Nash of High Wycombe-based Litigation Costs Services – is a web-based software solution for the production of costs budgets which also enables solicitors to produce their own bills of costs and costs schedules.
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.
Satellite litigation may be necessary to work out the new rule on proportionality in costs, the Master of the Rolls has said, but it will be a “very small price to pay”. Lawyers were also warned that if they fail to submit a budget from next April, then it will by default comprise only court fees.
Andy Ellis, the managing director of Practico and the costs lawyer who acted for the defendant News Group Newspapers in the Henry costs management case, highlights the key lessons from the ruling.
A social worker involved in the Baby P case faces a £300,000 shortfall in the costs she can recover over a successful libel claim against The Sun because there was no good reason to depart from the court-approved costs budget, the Senior Costs Judge has ruled.
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.