Legal Cost Specialists

Expert assistance in assessing costs

CPR 48.6 allows for a litigant in person to recover “the costs of obtaining expert assistance in assessing the costs claim”.

CPD 52.1 states that those who qualify for the purposes of this rule will include a “Fellow of the Association of Law Costs Draftsmen”.

The problem with this rule is that most Fellows have been converted to Costs Lawyers over the last few years and the category of Fellow ceased to exist entirely as of 31 December 2011. (And there is now no such thing as the Association of Law Costs Draftsmen – now renamed the Association of Costs Lawyers).

Therefore, the rules as currently drafted refer to a category of lawyer that no longer exists and no longer allow for the recovery of costs that would otherwise have been recoverable. (The problem ceases to exist if a Costs Lawyer goes on record as acting for the litigant in person because they then cease to be a litigant in person. However, not all litigants in person may want this to happen and it potentially means that the costs of isolated work, such as a Costs Layer just drafting points of dispute, would not be recoverable by the litigant in person.)

The Civil Procedure Rules Committee are fully aware of this rather embarrassing oversight in failing to update the CPD and I am sure we can expect the words “Costs Lawyer” to be substituted in place of “Fellow of the Association of Law Costs Draftsmen” in the October 2012 CPR amendments even if, inexplicably, this has not made it into the April 2012 update.

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