Legal Cost Specialists

Association of Costs Lawyers Annual Costs Conference

Another absolutely cracking Association of Costs Lawyers Annual Costs Conference last week.

Speakers included (and this is a non-exhaustive list): His Honour Simon Brown QC, Jeremy Morgan QC, Andrew Post QC, Simon Browne QC, Nicholas Bacon QC and Professor Dominic Regan.

Those on the panel session on Saturday: Master Campbell, Master Gordon-Saker, Master Haworth, Regional Costs Judge Besford, Region Costs Judge Lethem and District Judge McIlwaine.

And to top it all, the keynote speaker was Lord Neuberger, Master of the Rolls. His speech was important enough to be reported in both The Telegraph and the Law Society Gazette (and for the Association of Costs Lawyers to get a mention in both). Nice though all this was, the most important development for the ACL was the clear view expressed by Lord Neuberger, in response to a question from the floor, that he could see no reason why a representative from the ACL should not sit as a member of the new Costs Council.

A copy of the speech can be viewed here (well worth reading): Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, Master of the Rolls speech: Association of Costs Lawyers’ Annual Conference 2012.

8 thoughts on “Association of Costs Lawyers Annual Costs Conference”

  1. This was my 26th annual conference. The highlight for me was being proved wrong!

    Simon is a nice guy folks (Sat next to him at the dinner), sorry but he really is!!! However, he received a huge bottle of champers and failed to share it with the table! come on Simon you need to share things!

    On a serious note, Simon it was a pleasure and would happily share a table in the future. Take care.

  2. He went past me towards the elevator with that bottle of champers. He had the look of a prop forward gunning for the try line.

  3. What I want to know is why the ACL are helping Jackson when his changes will put 75% of them on the dole, am I missing something? You dont help someone that is trying to screw you over, someone please explain.

  4. To my eyes, those within the ACL who are ‘helping’ Jackson are either coming to the end of their careers or have such a varied workload that they will still be able to make a decent living post-Jackson. I think you will find that most members are opposed and have little sway within the association, although I may be wrong.

  5. Robert Pettitt

    As i see it, the ACL had to fall in with Jackson otherwise they would isolate themselves and lose the opportunity to be involved in the reforms.

    You have to remember that the changes were going to happen whoever was in Government and it is pretty hard to get public support for those ‘greedy’ (as the papers say) solicitors who want to charge lots.

    ACL would become redundant if it simply opposed the reforms.

    As it stands, they will be involved in the new bill drafting programming/process, costs budgeting and detailed assessments will still happen.

    It is apparant that some Costs Lawyers (and others) have already identified problems with practical aspects of some of the reforms and it appears proportionality will be new arena for satellite litigation.

    There may even be an argument that the work of the costs specialist has become a lot less special since the CFA Regulations died out. The biggest and most technical arguments since the likes of Myatt v MCB have been about interest and funding costs. I think that says something in itself.

    There may (and probably will) be a resurgence of technical arguments post-Jackson and the opportunity for interesting arguments. Solicitors and insurers welcome certainty, but the Jackson reforms will initially create a lot of work for cost people in shaping the case law that will eventually equate to ‘certainty’ – or as near to it as you can get.

  6. I think the comment that most of the ACL are coming to the end of their careers is the main point they really dont care. All they seem to care about is making sure they have a Council for lots of pointless meetings and they can keep collecting the fees for something which is a waste of time, also dont forget the feeling of self importance. The ACL should have told Jackson to run and jump, also when they have helped set it up they will be discarded, no joined up thinking.

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