Gibbs Wyatt Stone are the defendant legal costs specialists. We act only for defendants. With GWS, conflicts of interest become a thing of the past.
Defendants and insurers expect all aspects of a claim to be handled to the highest possible standard. We ensure that this approach continues into the costs process. GWS meet clients' high demands and ensure that defendant panel solicitors can offer an excellent and seamless service.
We have particular expertise in high value and complex legal costs litigation. We are specialists in dealing with retainer, CFA and ATE issues. Although we act in all types of civil costs dispute, we have particular expertise in catastrophic injury and disease claims.
GWS work in partnership with defendant panel solicitors. Our expertise adds value to the litigation process and ensures a continuous professional approach to the whole claim.
GWS was created to fill the gap that existed in the legal costs market. GWS are not:
- Law costs draftsmen – The main job of traditional law costs draftsmen is to draft Bills of Costs. Unlike GWS, costs draftsmen are not focused on the forensic business of challenging cost claims. A costs draftsman is not required to have any legal qualifications and often has no legal background at all. In the increasingly complex field of legal costs, a genuine understanding of legal issues is essential. All our fee earners have trained as barristers and therefore have a proper understanding of the litigation process and legal principles. Further, most law costs draftsmen act for both claimants and defendants. This leads to inevitable conflicts of interest and the frustrating return of instructions. We only act for defendants.
- Legal costs negotiators – Traditional costs negotiators have focused on high volume, low value claims. Legal costs negotiators’ business models are not designed to provide the level of costs expertise demanded by defendants in high value, complex costs matters. With GWS defendants know that all their cases are dealt with by genuine legal costs experts. We are focused on providing a truly professional legal costs service and not simply on “cutting a deal”.
- Costs counsel – Specialist costs counsel will generally provide only advocacy or advices on specific points of law. Costs counsel will not normally prepare Points of Dispute, Replies or Bills of Costs. The Bar's Code of Practice prevents counsel engaging in routine negotiations with third parties. At GWS we provide the level of technical expertise usually found only in costs counsel combined with the breadth of service found in traditional costs draftsmen. In exceptional cases, where complex test litigation is involved, we will work in close partnership with costs counsel and can help manage the whole process.