The defendant costs specialists

Costs management

By on Oct 25, 2011 | 3 comments

Richard Langley, writing in the Solicitors Journal, commenting on costs management records:

Courts have always grappled with how to manage cases and had a variety of tools at their disposal for this purpose. In 1595, the Master of the Rolls decided in one chancery case that the pleading, at 120 pages long, was eight times longer than it needed to be. The remedy was to order that the pleader be brought into Westminster Hall at 10.00am the next Saturday, whereupon a hole be cut in the middle of the pleading so that it could be placed over the pleader’s head, who would then be led around “bare headed and bare faced” before being sent to the Fleet Prison until he had paid a £10 fine (Mylward v Weldon [1595] EWHC Ch 1).

Something similar needed for prolix Points of Dispute and Replies?


  1. yes please, particularly for all those Defendant “negotiators” whom mass-produce the “cut & paste” objections without looking at the file – I am heartily sick of my first 5 replies pointing out the objections do not relate to the case in question

    Better, I suppose, than the objections from 1 particular source, which are lovingly hand crafted every time to point out that drawing such documents as particulars of claim, or a special damages schedule, is “not solicitor work, disallow”, or that taking instructions on a Part 36 offer is “solicitor/own client work and/or unecessary cost building, disallow”.


    25th October 2011

  2. I’ve just read the judgement – a great way to start the day!


    25th October 2011

  3. It should be noted that the court also ordered the pleader to pay “20 nobles to the defendant for his costs in respect of the aforesaid abuse.” [A noble was 6s.8d. in old money]

    An early forerunner of summary assessment?


    25th October 2011

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