Legal Cost Specialists

Costs draftsman v Solicitor

By on Dec 7, 2010 | 3 comments

Robert Males, writing in New Law Journal, expressed the view that:

“I believe the solicitor is the best person to deal with negotiation and settlement of costs.  If the matter proceeds to assessment then while the costs draftsman may be perfectly capable of putting forward the technical arguments in terms of costs recovery the conducting solicitor is in the best position to explain to a costs judge not only what has been done but why.”

Now, for a routine case there should be no need for the fee earner to attend to explain “what” and “why” as it should be self-evident from the papers and attendance notes.

I remember attending one assessment hearing where the fee earner did attend to “assist” the law costs draftsman on the other side who was meant to be conducting the assessment.  Every time an issue arose in relation to the work undertaken, the fee earner embarked on a long and impassioned explanation of why the work was essential.  The poor costs draftsman barely got a word in edgeways.

Why keep a dog and bark yourself?


  1. In that case, why have Counsel representing a Claimant at Trial, let the Claimant do the job instead – after all they know the case better!

    Cost Muppet

    7th December 2010

  2. ‘the costs draftsman may be perfectly capable of putting forward the technical arguments in terms of costs recovery’

    As Santa might say (and with some honourable exceptions): ho, ho, ho.

    Jacques Hughes

    8th December 2010

  3. True story;-

    I represented a solicitor whom ran a fairly complicated claim, and spent a lot of time and effort getting a result – far too much time the Defendant said!

    My client claimed a rate higher than the “usual” guidleines, which was also objected to.

    So my client decided he’s come to the DA to tell the DJ exactly why he was worth the cost, and why he had done all the work he had.

    When so put to proof by the Defendant, he addressed the DJ he wanted to reply directly

    He then boldly told the DJ he had never dealt with this type of case before and had always wanted a stab at one, so he had decided to do it with this case when the cahnce came along, and had learned loads on the way!


    9th December 2010

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