11 December, 2013

Overseas costs drafting work

Filed UnderLegal Costs  

I was recently contacted by a company in Pakistan offering to prepare schedule of costs and Bill of costs. Apparently they have worked for several UK legal costing services.

My first thought was how do they deal with the logistics of obtaining the solicitors’ file of papers?

Then it dawned on me. All these schedules and bills I see from so many costs firms, that appear to bear to relation to the underlying claim, have been prepared by draftsmen in Pakistan without sight of the papers and just making it up as they go along.

No. Only kidding. They must have full access to the solicitors’ electronic case management system and timesheets. Mustn’t they?

Comments

11 Responses to “Overseas costs drafting work”

  1. Realist on December 11th, 2013 10:04 am

    There are many firms with electronic case management systems. One of the advantages of this system is outsourcing costs work overseas, (not necessarily to Pakistan, there are other countries used by firms too). You usually get a lawyer with 2 PHDs drafting your bill, (fully trained by seconded British cost draftsman, for a fraction of the price it costs to hire a cost draftsman in the UK.

  2. Anonymous on December 11th, 2013 10:18 am

    I have had a similar email and had similar thoughts.

    It also begs the question; the offers from defendant negotiators that bear no relevance to the bill of costs prepared, maybe they come from the same source!!

  3. Realist on December 11th, 2013 11:06 am

    No, they will likely be from the UK based cost draftsmen with no legal background or knowledge. Just my experience.

  4. xyz on December 11th, 2013 12:08 pm

    I recall that about 5 years ago, a large (Scouse) Defendant costs firm outsourced their negotiations team to mumbai. Shortly afterwards, things started to go down hill, as all of their files started going to DA Hearings (which they lost) & they promptly lost all of their insurer clients…. Good to see lawyers adopting tried & tested business models.

  5. dragons den on December 11th, 2013 12:18 pm

    Surprised that the larger cost firms dont look to get into international markets – after all most common law jurisdictions seem to have similar costs rules / provisions.

    Why not partner up in a joint venture with S&G to get direct access to the ozzy legal costs market ?

    How long before we have the assoc of international cost lawyers / draftsmen ?

  6. Cash the Pigeon on December 11th, 2013 1:12 pm

    No, the offers which “bear no relevance” to the Bill prepared are probably because the Bill prepared bears no relevance to the actual file.

    Can you say “vicious cycle”?

  7. no chance! on December 11th, 2013 1:19 pm

    I am a costs draftsman and I use to work for a cost company in the UK based in the outer skirts of Manchester. This company was questionable anyway and used to outsource the work to Pakistan through the MD’s connection as he was originally from Pakistan – they would scan on Client’s files and electronically send them over. It is worth noting that all bills were templates barr few issues that differentiated this file from others !! – be aware !! so yes very bill was the same if only Defendant’s checked properly..

  8. Andrew Brasher on December 11th, 2013 2:08 pm

    His linkedin page says it all!

  9. Anonymous on December 11th, 2013 4:44 pm

    Cash the Pigeon
    You obviously haven’t seen one of my bills!

  10. Anonymous on December 13th, 2013 5:12 pm

    @ xyz

    actually it was nearer 9 years ago, the Claimants shamefully declined to negotiate with “non-UK based business”, and CPR 45 fixed costs were introduced. Nice to see facts manipulated to suit

  11. The office cat on December 14th, 2013 7:57 pm

    Just to mention that it’s illegal to send personal / sensitive information outside the EU without the client agreeing and by client I mean the solicitor’s client.

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