Posts made in May, 2011

Costs draftsmen romance

By on May 20, 2011 | 3 comments

Jennifer James writing in the New Law Journal on love and the law: “Work colleagues who get together in what they alone believe to be a secret affair (while everyone else is placing bets on how it will end) are just one example; barristers and/or solicitors becoming entangled, sometimes literally, with experts, clients and (less often) costs draftsmen, are another.” “Less often”. Speak for yourself love....

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Hourly rates for libel lawyers

By on May 19, 2011 | 3 comments

Geoffrey Bindman, ex-lawyer for Private Eye, writing in New Law Journal: “My initial inexperience of libel law did not prove a disadvantage. Nor – contrary to the belief encouraged by a coterie of specialist libel lawyers who have built up a lucrative cottage industry – was it a difficult area of law. The key skill is negotiation, which is distinct from specialised knowledge of the subject.” Unless evidence can be produced of higher overheads, no more than Guideline Hourly Rates appropriate for this type of work...

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Quality law costs draftsmen

By on May 18, 2011 | 6 comments

Jon Robins had a recent piece in the New Law Journal discussing how deregulation will affect the legal services market. This examined how consumers choose between providers of legal services and the concept of quality. The article quoted from some comments taken from a recent report by the Legal Services Consumer Panel (Quality in Legal Services, November 2010) including: Consumer B: “They’re all solicitors and qualified to a similar level, and so it doesn’t matter whether they’re charging you £200 or £800.” Consumer C: “We put ourselves in their hands and because they’re qualified and they’re professionals, we just hope and presume that they’re going to give us the right information and do the job for us.” The article commented: As the researchers noted the search for quality did not strongly influence consumers’ choice of lawyer. “This is bad for competition as it means that good-quality firms are not differentiating themselves from poorer quality rivals,” they concluded; adding that it could lead to “an excessive focus on reducing price” to a level where quality was compromised. In relation to the issue of various quality marks, Robins concluded: But if—as consumers B and C imply—people assume all lawyers are competent, then why would they look for quality marks anyway? Similar problems seem to exist when choosing amongst law costs draftsmen. It is understandable that members of the public might struggle to distinguish between the good, bad and indifferent in the event they need to instruct a costs draftsman. However, surely solicitors and insurers are much more sophisticated when making this decision. Well, all those who work in the legal costs field will be well aware that quality is in short supply and some firms and individuals are much more successful than any measure of “quality” would seem to justify. How should a solicitor or insurer measure “quality” in a law costs draftsman or Costs...

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Free costs seminar

By on May 16, 2011 | 0 comments

John Foy QC, of 9 Gough Square, and Dominic Regan are giving a free one hour seminar on Costs and Jackson at 5.30pm on 17th May 2011 in London. Rather short notice but apparently they still have some free spaces. Email Andrew Grosvenor: if you are interested.

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Proportionate bill of costs?

By on May 16, 2011 | 1 comment

Dominic Regan’s blog summarising Motto & Ors v Trafigura Ltd & Anor [2011] EWHC 90201 (Costs): “£107,707,772.72 – That was the amount of the bill presented by Leigh Day to the defendants in the Trafigura pollution injury claims where it was ultimately accepted that most claimants had flu like symptoms. … Please do not mention this case to Sir Rupert Jackson; I fear the poor man would implode.” Proportionality anyone? Don’t make me laugh. You’ll make my sides hurt. And where there’s blame, there’s a claim. Despite the valiant efforts of those representing the claimants, Master Hurst held: “I have no hesitation in saying that the base costs, excluding additional liabilities, have the appearance of being disproportionate.”...

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