The defendant costs specialists

26 hour working day

By on Jul 29, 2011 | 11 comments

The Metro newspaper recently reported on the trial of a solicitor who allegedly claimed for 26 hours work in a single day as part of a plot to cheat Legal Aid out of more than £300,000.

Also standing trial was a legal executive, with the prosecution claiming: “He attended Leicester crown court from his home in the Midlands but they claimed as if he had commuted daily from London, and submitted forged taxi receipts’.

Also accused was costs draughtsman (sic) Robert Odong, with the prosecution saying: Odong ‘appears responsible for hand-written alterations to attendance notes and taxi receipts’.

I can’t understand why a solicitor should be put through this kind of indignity. Presumably the solicitor signed some kind of Legal Aid form to confirm that the claim for costs was accurate. That should be an end to the matter and it should be accepted without further ado that the 26 hours per day was accurate. We all know the importance to be placed on a signature by an officer of the Court (see Bailey v IBC Vehicles [1998] EWCA Civ 566).

As for a dishonest law costs draftsman, the very thought…

    11 Comments

  1. If that is fraudulent, then arguably so is the outcome in Smith & Graham v Lord Chancellor, claiming the work done by an agent as your own and profitting.

    Graham

    29th July 2011

  2. That spelling, “draughtsman”, grind my gears something rotten, he deserves prison if he styled himself as such

    Anonymous

    29th July 2011

  3. Only claiming 26 hours in a day, can’t be a costs lawyer then.

    Anon

    29th July 2011

  4. LOL

    Patrick

    31st July 2011

  5. estimated time

    anonymous

    1st August 2011

  6. I believe that reporters should learn from the recent Murdoch events.
    My opinion is if you have not been to court then do not over sensationalise a story just to get readers interested.
    The owner of this blog do you actually have the facts about the costs draftsman or are you basing your judgement of what metro reported?

    Anonymous

    1st August 2011

  7. I can confirm that this story was not based on information I obtained through illegal phone hacking.

    As for my “judgement”, there was none, beyond suggesting that solicitors can always be trusted and the idea of a dishonest costs draftsman is implausable.

    Simon Gibbs

    1st August 2011

  8. To Anonymous on August 1st, 2011 2:16 pm, lets have the facts then…

    Grade "A" Cost Draftsman

    1st August 2011

  9. previously I have made reference to cases whereby there is a simple and genuine mistake and then there are the “other” cases

    The above, on the very scant info known, seems to fall under the “other” category

    Such “other” cases do not suffice to to trivialise signatures when a simple error has been made. I note recently a large well known Defendant firm had a £1/4 million Bill held unenforceable. That too would have been signed but I put that down mistake and note the “other” scenario

    I use the word other as opposed to a more forceful description as I am not in receipt of the facts either

    annon

    1st August 2011

  10. I think the costs “draughtsman” only did it to avoid the Jackson reforms.A brilliant strategy.

    Does attending your own trial count for CPD points?

    Cockney Rebel

    2nd August 2011

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  1. Costs draughtsman shenanigans | - [...] to my post last week about the lawyers accused of legal aid fraud, readers may be interested to hear…

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