Legal Cost Specialists

New Association of Costs Lawyers' Council member

By on Mar 14, 2011 | 13 comments

I spent much of Saturday being carried aloft by crowds of cheering costs lawyers following my surprise election to the Association of Costs Lawyers’ Council.

The election as a whole was a surprisingly close run thing, with the voting suggesting a fairly wide, and possibly relatively evenly balanced, range of views amongst the membership about the future. Now that these differences have been fully aired, I am sure that the whole Council (with its new member) will shift the focus onto the common ground (and the differences have perhaps been overemphasised at the expense of overlooking the large amount of common ground). Although I will be but a single voice on the Council, I will strive to advance as many of my stated goals as possible.

Over the weekend, and before the election results had been declared, a number of those attending the ACL National Conference informed me that I had received their vote. Various different reasons were given as to why I had received their votes, but they mainly boiled down to: “we’d rather have you on the inside pissing out than the outside pissing in”. I guess that’s the closest I’ll ever get to a ringing endorsement.

    13 Comments

  1. You continue to be prone to exaggeration Mr Gibbs considering that a) the AGM broke up shortly after the announcement of the new Officers and Council and b) most people were only too keen to get away and return home for what remained of the weekend. You would also do well to remember that only about 50% of those eligible to take part in the election did so.

    Having been elected you have new responsibilities and you would do well to bear in mind that as a Council member you are a representative of the whole of the membership and not merely those who voted for you.

    Before you start ‘representing’ the membership and bearing in mind that as a new member, in every sense, you have no long standing history of membership of the Association, you would do well to learn about the Association’s history and why it is where it is today. If the changes had not been made by previous Councils and endorsed by the then membership you would not now be either a member of the Association and therefore not a Council member.

    The time has come for you to learn what it actually means to be a costs lawyer and about the work which many of the membership of the ACL carry out. They do not all appear in the SCCO every day of the week opposing £million bills and trumpeting about their ‘success’ to every Tom, Dick and Harry who cares to read your blog.

    You should regard it as a privilege to represent the membership and not merely an opportunity to further your own interests.

    Finally, let us all hope that this is the last of your blogs about the ACL and that your electioneering has now ceased.

    Bonfire

    14th March 2011

  2. “only about 50% of those eligible to take part in the election did so”

    Is that a call to run the election again to get a more representative result?

    For the love of God, I hope not.

    Simon Gibbs

    14th March 2011

  3. The anonymous hatemail starts!

    Can you possibly indulge us with the names of the other council members?

    Are you the Nick Clegg of the ACL? I hope not.

    Robert Pettitt

    14th March 2011

  4. The four Officers remain unchanged. The non-officer members elected are (if memory serves me right): Michael Bacon, Deborah Burke, Simon Gibbs and Jon Williams.

    Simon Gibbs

    14th March 2011

  5. I would like to congratulate “Bonfire” on perhaps the most pompous and unintentionally funny post yet to appear on this blog. Nice one.

    Jacques Hughes

    14th March 2011

  6. To Robert Pettitt – my original post should not be construed as hate mail but merely to draw attention to Mr Gibbs’ prediliction for hyerbole and to express a wish that Mr Gibbs will cease airing the affairs of the ACL in public. If Mr Gibbs wishes to air his views to the membership this blog is most certainly not the place to do so.

    Bonfire

    14th March 2011

  7. Bonfire,

    To the charge of “hyperbole” I plead guilty. Obviously. Did any reader take as a true and accurate account of events my first sentence of today’s post? I would love to think there are readers out there who formed a mental image of that imaginary scene. For the record, by my reckoning, I received support from 43% of those who voted. I’m not going to get carried away (or aloft) on that.

    As to the wider criticism about discussing ACL business in public, you approach this issue selectively. A previous comment of yours was: “However, it behoves those who are currently members but are questioning the way that the Association is evolving to remember that the Officers of the Association are at present engaged in carrying out the wishes of those who have voted for such changes as is evidenced, for example, by the overwhelming vote at the AGM in 2010”. Happy to discuss ACL business when it suits you.

    At the 2010 AGM 160 voted out of, I believe, an eligible membership of 571 (ie 28%). Now that the membership has been rash enough to vote me in, you dismiss this on the basis that “only about 50% of those eligible to take part in the election did so”.

    On another forum, and before the results had been declared, the comment was made: “The votes have been cast and, as before, I hope the outcome is accepted by all involved and the new Council’s limited time and resources are not encumbered by disgruntled former candidates seeking redress by way of undermining the election process.”. I might have hoped for a different outcome overall but I tend to agree.

    Simon Gibbs

    14th March 2011

  8. Mr Bonfire (of the Vanities?)

    Is not one of the many problems of the ACL, its refusal to hear the full voice of the profession, in preference for discussing “business” behind the closed doors of the “Boys Club” it created, and then only limited to the few it has (largely, but not exclusively) inflated to the CL position by various means to suit its own ends?

    I for one applaude and congratulate Simon’s appointment, and hope he, for one, continues to express an opinion not draped in the “party colours” of the proletariate which the ACL is increasingly seeming to be

    Anonymous

    14th March 2011

  9. Hear Hear

    GR

    14th March 2011

  10. Anon at 5.02pm – hear hear.

    The more Simon can lobby for the type of change he has voiced over the past few years, the better. Especially from the inside.

    However I fear that one (however eloquent and reasoned) voice amongst the snuffles and snorts (pigs in a trough), will be drowned out.

    TB

    14th March 2011

  11. TB,

    I’m not sure who has the “eloquent and reasoned” voice that you refer to but, much as I may not have always seen eye to eye with others in the Association, I don’t think the “pigs in a trough” reference is fair or remotely accurate.

    Simon Gibbs

    14th March 2011

  12. Well done Simon. I’m glad Debbie was voted in again too. Airing dirty linen in public is an overstatement. Collective responsibility comes with any post such as this but people knew who they were voting for – so a better quality of debate and greater transparency can only be good things.

    Andy Ellis

    15th March 2011

  13. Good grief, that Bonfire chap likes the sound of his own voice (or the sounds of his keyboard clicking)

    Rick

    17th March 2011

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