Legal Cost Specialists

ALCD rethink?

Association of Law Costs Draftsmen member Sue Nash has written the following letter to ALCD members:

Dear All,

I am very aware having seen and read e-mail correspondence between members (as well as the GWS blog) as well as through discussions with fellow draftsmen, that there is a considerable amount of unease and dissatisfaction with the ALCD’s decision to effectively re-invent itself as the Association of Costs Lawyers. There was little or no consultation with the membership and indeed the decision must have been taken some time ago as the deadline for publication of the ALCD’s annual diary is usually late summer. A couple of letters have been printed in “The Costs Lawyer” (I am sure I am not the only one to still think of it as “The Journal”) but I am aware that several other letters have been submitted to the Editor but have simply not been published. The most recent edition of course made no reference to this issue at all.

Although the impact of the change of membership status is probably most keenly felt by those who deal almost solely with Legal Aid costs, there are other draftsmen who are also unhappy with the changes. I am aware that there has been discussion about the formation of a separate association to represent costs draftsmen (the Association of Law Costs Draftsmen perhaps?!) and whilst this might indeed be the solution that suits most people, I would be loathe to see a split profession as I do not believe it would be in the best interests of either costs draftsmen or costs lawyers.

Any representations to the Council will carry more weight if they are supported by a significant number of members and I have canvassed with a few others the idea of holding a meeting for everybody to air their views and to consider what alternatives we might be able to put forward to the Council. There is considerable enthusiasm for such a meeting and I have therefore provisionally booked a meeting room in London on Saturday 8th January between 11.00 am and 2.00 pm and invite you to attend. The cost will only be £30.00 to include lunch and all other refreshments and the time has been arranged to suit those who may have considerable distance to travel. The rooms are at 25, Southampton Building, London WC2A 1AL (very near the SCCO!).

Could you please let me know as soon as possible if you wish to attend, preferably by next Friday, 17th December. Also please can you pass on details to anyone else you know who may be interested in attending.



6 thoughts on “ALCD rethink?”

  1. Whilst I could be a cynic and suggest this is akin to shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted, perhaps i wont.

    What i do query, however, is who can attend this meeting; who can comment; and who (if necessary) can vote?

    If the ALCD wishes to be representative of the profession, then it should consult and hear from ALL members, not just those within their own hallowed rules as having privilaged rights to be heard

    Regrettably, here i do bocome a cynic. The ALCD have written into their own fabric a refusal to hear anyone not in their elitist group which will not change. They will not admit or hear the full profession.

    Oh how I wish to be proven wrong……..

  2. The main purpose of the meeting is to try to keep the association together and to make it more representative of the profession as a whole. There are many current members who have supported the association and worked hard to achieve Fellowship or Associate level membership but who are planning to leave as Costs Lawyer status is not something they aspire to, want or need. For the same reason, I believe that the current direction of the association could deter other costs draftsmen from joining.

    We are a small profession in terms of numbers and it makes sense for those across the costs spectrum to collaborate. Without wishing to echo many a politician, there really is strength in numbers and the voice of those of us at the costs coalface should be heard, particularly at the current time when the wider legal profession – and the judiciary – is considering the implementation of the Jackson recommendations. I know that the alcd is working hard to achieve this but their position could be weakened if they are not seen to be representative of the profession as a whole.

    We should not forget or disregard those who work – extremely hard – to ensure that their solicitor clients recover the basic remuneration available under public funding. Without them, more firms would give up the struggle and cease to do publicly funded work. The current signal being sent by the association is that it does not value this work – or those who undertake it.

    I have not touched on other aspects of this issue which have been discussed in earlier posts; there are obviously draftsmen – both members and non-members – who hold strong and valid opinions (many of which I personally share). If any non-alcd draftsmen would like to come to the meeting and/or air their views please get in touch with me!

  3. The meeting on 8th January will now take place at the RAF Club, 128 Piccadilly. There are a few spaces still left and we do not need to confirm numbers until tomorrow afternoon (7th) so if anyone else wishes to attend could they please e-mail me (

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