The defendant costs specialists

Denis O'Riordan's retirement

By on Mar 25, 2011 | 5 comments

Principal Costs Officer Denis O’Riordan is retiring from the Senior Courts Costs Office.

Over the years I may not have always achieved the exact result I might have hoped for, but it has always been a pleasure to appear before him.

What stands out is that I cannot recall a single occasion where I have had a hearing before him where he has not mastered the papers and the progress of the case better than either of the advocates appearing. There is therefore no chance, and he never allowed it, for either advocate (but particularly the one for the receiving party) to mislead the court (or the other side) as to how certain costs have come to be incurred. This can only be possible through the countless hours of reading time and preparation he must have consistently put into each case. I am sure I am not alone in noticing and appreciating this devotion to his work.

The Legal Costs Blog wishes Denis a well earned and happy retirement.

    5 Comments

  1. It was always reassuring in assessments before Denis that at least someone in the room knew what the case was about.

    I’m not sure I ever managed to change his mind about anything, but it never stopped me trying.

    Andy Ellis

    25th March 2011

  2. I recall a particular case listed in April 2002, during days when I worked for claimant lawyers, when he refused to adjourn a hearing at a few weeks’ notice. My son was due to be born on or around the date of the hearing and his view was, quite simply, ‘tough’.

    Still, I pitched up and came away after 6 tortuous hours with the bill assessed as drawn and every penny of my travel time and hotel expenses intact. The horrified look on my opponent’s face was almost as funny as the wry smile sported by Mr O’Riordan as he handed back my bill!

    Jon Williams

    25th March 2011

  3. In my early days I was more terrified of appearing before him than any other judge (save for one in Clerkenwell CC)

    God help you if you didn’t know your case inside out.

    So, often harsh but always very fair minded. Which is pretty much all any of us want from someone in a judicial post.

    Defendant Solicitor

    25th March 2011

  4. That’s the trouble when you under-claim Jon.

    Andy Ellis

    25th March 2011

  5. The bill was literally a kitchen sink job but divided/limited to the total of umpteen statute bills – happy days.

    Jon Williams

    25th March 2011

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