Legal Cost Specialists

Jackson Day passes smoothly

Jackson Day came and went and the world carried on. (Unless, since writing this, North Korea has triggered nuclear Armageddon. In which case how are you still managing to read this and why does the latest from the Legal Costs Blog still feature on your list of priorities?)

Are solicitors ready? The Law Society has managed to publish a new model conditional fee agreement. This comes with the disclaimer: “This model agreement is not a precedent for use with all clients”. Some commentators are already raising enough concerns about the wording of the agreement that would suggest the disclaimer would have been better worded to say the agreement “is not a precedent for use with any clients”.

Is the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers ready? Well, they still seem to be fighting the last war (the anti-Jackson one that they lost) and are busy putting out press releases with the grossly misleading headline that “Public denied justice as ‘no-win no-fee’ ends”. As Kerry Underwood notes: “That heading is simply untrue”.

Is the Costs Lawyer Standards Board ready? Unless they publish something today (and one or two days notice might have been nice) amending the Statement of Rights we will have the first day of costs budgeting with Costs Lawyers having no “right” to participate in the same. I note the CLSB is pushing to extend its remit to cover Trainee Costs Lawyers. Perhaps it should prioritise on dealing first with the matters it already does have responsibility for.

Are Costs Lawyers ready? In an extraordinary open letter to the ACL Council published in Costs Lawyer magazine, Michael Bacon, President of the Association of Costs Lawyers, and Matthew Harman, immediate past President, complain that “there has been nothing at all by way of guidance or support from the Association” in relation to the Jackson reforms and urge immediate steps to “give [members] guidance on the new rules and the practicalities of implementation of the Jackson reforms”. Remember, Costs Lawyers are meant to be the “go to” professionals during this period of change. Bacon and Harman go as far as calling into question the need to continue their membership of the ACL as they “cannot see the value of remaining as members”. With friends like that…

Jackson’s final report was published in January 2010. One might have hoped a more seamless introduction and transition would have been possible.

13 thoughts on “Jackson Day passes smoothly”

  1. RTA/EL/PL for cost draftsman will be drying up shortly.

    Can I ask what cost firms intend to do, there will not be enough work to go around.

    How can the likes of Just Costs/Compass survive with 100+ staff each?

  2. This is where the costs monkeys are going to fail!
    Solicitors will be better dealing with small, bespoke costs firms who can provide a quality service.

  3. Hence bespoke service, which is why us bespoke firms need to provide a quality costs service tailored to our clients.

  4. Hey guys – check Quindell out – they also bought Silverbeck Rymer Solicitors in December last year. The Directors of Compass are no costs monkies – the directors have just become millionairs (Tied in for a while though). Good lads and well done to them.

    I have had the pleasure of knowing the partners at Silverbeck Rymer (Jim and Charles)and the Directors at Compass Tony and Steve. Good luck to them all. Perhaps they will lend me a tenner!!!

  5. Quindell appear to have acquired Compass for 80m shares, having agreed the value of Compass at £14m. This gives an implied value per share of 17.5p (according to the press release), however Quindell’s shares are currently trading for around 11p per share. So Quindell agrees Compass’s value at £14m, yet only parts with shares currently worth less than £9m? Will see the true worth of this deal in a couple of years time…

  6. Wasn’t suggesting Just Costs /Compass are costs monkeys, the statement was “this is where the costs monkeys are going to fail.”

  7. Hey all academic to me! they still going to get a good settlement if they sell and my view is the shares will rocket! you watch!!!

  8. Simon, @ para 2 of initial blog. It doesn’t appear that there is an obligation to disclose a new model CFA in any event so how will the paying party/Costs Officer know? The new ‘diet’ CPD Section 5.2 attached to 47.6 doesn’t make such disclosure mandatory.

    Scenario :-

    A CFA (with progressive work carried out) on 31.03.13 provides entitlement for appropriate additional liabilities on an inter partes basis. The N252 (and later the N258) is served post 01.04.13 so provisional assessment kicks in. No obligation to disclose the risk assessment statement/CFA?

  9. PD 48 at 1.3 deals with transitional provisions:

    “The provisions in the CPR relating to funding arrangements have accordingly been revoked (either in whole or in part as they relate to funding arrangements) with effect from 1 April 2013; but they will remain relevant, and will continue to have effect notwithstanding the revocations, after that date for those cases covered by the saving provisions”

    Sol old rules continue to apply for pre-1/4/13 CFAs.

  10. @ 5:28 pm.

    Can you clarify for me Simon?

    Are you saying that if the CFA is date 03.04.12 but the N252 is dated 03.04.13 then its Detailed Assessment not Provisional Assessment?

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