Posts made in September, 2009

Jackson Costs Review – Part 7 – A shrinking role for costs draftsmen?

By on Sep 10, 2009 | 0 comments

Lord Justice Jackson’s Preliminary Report on Civil Litigation Costs focuses on the perceived problems that have arisen in recent years in relation to legal costs: “There is no doubt that litigation over costs has increased dramatically in recent years, and that this growth is one of the driving factors behind the present review. Whilst many such disputes concerned issues which would need to be resolved under any system which involves costs-shifting, the disputes over the enforceability of conditional fee agreements have generated more litigation, arguably to less useful purpose, than any other. … [L]engthy detailed assessment hearings (largely devoted to legal arguments about recoverability and other technical challenges) still abound. This continuance of technical battles, albeit on changing fronts, appears to be attributable to the huge sums of costs which are in play. Both in the field of personal injury and in other areas, the Costs War is still being fought with some vigour.” The Report goes on: “Taken collectively, the law reports of the last decade present the unseemly spectacle of endless and expensive squabbles about how much money should be paid to lawyers. … The question must be asked whether the Costs War either serves the public interest or benefits the profession as a whole. If the answer to this question is no, then consideration must be given to what further measures (beyond those already adopted) should be taken in order to stamp out such litigation. … In commenting on the issues raised in Phase 1 of the Costs Review, Professor Ian Scott (general editor of the White Book) stated: ‘I do fear that the profession to which I belong has lost its soul and is far too preoccupied with making money. Further, I think it is capable by its actions of killing the goose that has laid the golden egg. Another thing I feel strongly about is the shocking squandering of scarce court resources on refereeing of disputes about costs’”. In addition to some of the radical proposals for dealing with these perceived problems, such as increased fixed fees and an end to two-way costs shifting, a number of the options up for consideration include changes to the current detailed assessment process. Some of the problems...

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E-disclosure and legal costs

By on Sep 8, 2009 | 0 comments

One of the more niche topics that Lord Justice Jackson’s Costs Review is examining is e-disclosure. This is a specialist area and I do not propose to comment on the issues and problems that arise. Rather, I would suggest that those readers who are interested in this topic visit The e-Disclosure Information Project website where there is detailed consideration of this area. There is also an interesting post on that site concerning legal costs and the detailed assessment process. Click image to enlarge:  ...

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A new bible for the legal costs world?

By on Sep 3, 2009 | 0 comments

My sources in the legal costs world inform me of the forthcoming publication of a new book on the subject of legal costs. This news may not immediately set the pulse racing, especially when I tell you that I am not the author. However, this book promises to be different from the established titles on the market and is written by a highly regarded costs counsel. If this book is half as good as initial rumours suggest, it has every chance of knocking Cook on Costs from the top of the table as being the indispensable costs guide. I’ll keep you...

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