Legal Cost Specialists

Average legal costs saving

By how much is the average claim for costs reduced?

When I started in costs law, back in 1997, average savings for volume legal costs negotiating work in insurance personal injury claims was in the region of 21-23%.

With the advent of claims management firms, ATE premiums and success fees, that rose at one stage to around 30-35%. (Depending on what was included or excluded in the figures different firms managed to massage the figures and direct comparisons have never been possible.)

The introduction of predictable costs in RTA claims considerably reduced the scope for argument in low-end RTA work and these claims are probably recorded separately by volume negotiating firms.

The introduction of fixed success fees for most RTA, EL and EL disease claims and the decision in Roger v Merthyr Tydfil CBC has considerably reduced the scope for argument in other claims. Has this been made up for with increased claims for hourly rates and time?

Where do average savings now stand?

6 thoughts on “Average legal costs saving”

  1. In amongst the case of Naylor -v- Monahan (2011) EWHC 1412 in Newcastle (dealing with an appeal agaisnt a summary assessment) was this nugget (vis the initial summary assessment result) ;

    “Despite the fact that this process produced a figure representing about 60% of the actual costs incurred, a not untypical percentage following a detailed assessment of costs, the claimant now seeks permission to appeal against that assessment.”

    So 40% reductions seem “not untypical”. I guess in non-fixed success fee cases that may be reasonable, get a 100% success fee down to 67/54/43% say and inroads are made considerably.

    Where I used to work, high volume low value RTAs I was averaging securing reductions of 27% on Claimant costs, not bad considering the fixed success fees were fixed, Wraith being the main cause of reductions really.

    Is the “rule of thumb” still 20-25% at DA? How about in the provisional assessment pilot?

  2. Looking at my figures, we saw 34% as the average in 2010 (very similar in 2009) and are at 36% to date in 2011. The portfolios are mixed bags of RTA (including FRC), EL and PL – and few ‘voluntarily’ fixed claims from Scotland!

  3. My saving’s last year over the 30/40 Defendant jobs that I handled was something in the region of 60% on average for fixed SF RTA claims

    before people question this it was down to the costs being claimed from a firm in the manchester region which were obscene and who were threatened with the law society a few times

  4. Off topic I know…

    I was watching the Scunthorpe v Newcastle game last night and Quality Solicitors had a sponsor board! The funny thing was a ball boy was in front of the board for the entire game!

    I could see the board as I know the score (no pun intended) but for people not “in the know” they wouldn’t have a clue!

  5. I dont see more than 20% of time ever coming off my bills, be it by negotiation or settlement.

    Unfortunately, that never seems to filter through the brain (did i really say brain!!) of certain Defendant negotiator firms, whom think they can continue to role out their percentage first offer every case, then when that’s rejected role out their second percentage offer – on many occasions Ive even told the culprits what their second offer will be before they work it out!!

    I recognize this post shows that both sides have their bad element inflating bills and making pathetic offers to everyone indiscriminately, but more importantly, do you all really just work on how big a percentage you can shave off bills as an average (it seems that way)? Do none of you people earn your crust the right way, and claim and offer what is a PROPER & REASONED assessment of the work and the costs reasonable and necessary?

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