Legal Cost Specialists

Changes to Costs Lawyer training

In light of the problems facing ACL Training, I commented that: “It seems unlikely it can possibly continue in its current form”.

Unsurprisingly, the CLSB has now announced that it is to suspend any further intake onto the current three year Costs Lawyer qualification.

The CLSB “will now focus on other means of entry into the profession e.g. Costs Lawyer competence test, apprenticeship, thus assuring standards expected of a regulated profession are met”.

13 thoughts on “Changes to Costs Lawyer training”

  1. If only the ACL had stood up and been counted when it mattered. Jackson was still there at their recent conference, smiling and surrounded by lambs that he had just signed their death warrant for. I am not surprised about this change. What reasonable person would commit to thousands of pounds worth of training for an industry such as ours?

    1. Not an ACL member

      This has long been one of the many troubles with the ACL – far too many there just for the ‘accolade’ of having a title, under the misbegotten belief they were being accepted as part of the ‘Establishment’. Remember, its been your members who gave the figures to Jackson’s team to establish fixed costs. It was your members also whom agreed with Jackson’s suggested move to the electronic bill and J-codes. Perhaps if those ‘assisting’ had the bravery to tell him he was wrong then…..

  2. This is an awful decision which appears to have been made with no consultation/prior warning.

    Firstly, a number of people have expressed concerns to the CLSB regarding the announcement and they have been advised by the CLSB that they will review the decision re accreditation if ACLT can recruit new students. Why say this now!? The damage has been done who would want to sign up for the course now. Surely the sensible option would have been for the CLSB to discuss their concerns with ACLT and say if you don’t recruit we will consider revoking the accreditation!? Rather than pulling the plug!

    Secondly, if the CLSB are proposing other means of entry to the profession what work has been done in relation to this? The SRA are taking four years to introduce a competency test. The CLSB do not appear to have budgeted for these changes. How long will it take to introduce and if the proposals are rushed through what are he chances that they’ll be right?

    Thirdly, the CLSB are justifying their decision on the basis of viability. It has been reported to ACL members that ACLT could diversify, that they had significant reserves and that no decision on uptake needed to be made until August. Surely the CLSB would be aware of this but have still made a rash, seemingly unfounded decision which can only be of a detriment to the profession.

  3. I agree with the first comment I have been working in the profession since 1989 and sat at the ACL Con and watched the entire audience warmly clapping Jackson after he spoke – everyone in the room knowing that he is the person responsible for the demise of the profession – i wonder how them same people will feel in 1-2 years time when they can’t cover their mortgage payments,pay the bills and explain to their kids why there will be no holiday this year – clapping him was all so very polite and British – when what we really needed was stand up and telll him how his recommendations will effect everyone in the rooms livelihoods!

    As for Nick Bacon and Vikram Sachdeva’s suggestion at the con that there will be work for Costs Lawyers created by the blurred lines in Jackson’s fixed costs grid..are they serious!

  4. Exasperated Member

    To ‘Not an ACL Member’ from an ACL Member – I feel I should point out that no all Members gave figures to Jackson, if any did. As far as I can tell for clinical negligence, CLs weren’t even involved in the calculation (something that is evident from the fact that the calculations and costs included are wrong). Further, most Members do not agree with the electronic bill or J-Codes and the ACL’s consultation on this was damning of both, but they were largely ignored. I agree that the ACL should have stood up sooner, but the recent pathetic response to the clinical negligence consultation is a classic example of the ACL failing to look at or address the issues in relation to costs – and in my view, failing to appear professional. Couldn’t someone at least have attempted to proof read it first?!

    And anyone who thought they were part of the ‘establishment’ through becoming an ACL was and still is wholly misguided. I have been saying for some time that the course is not up to scratch in terms of getting CLs recognised by the ‘establishment’. It was, however, a starting point and had the Council or ACL Training wised up to the fact that CLs are behind in getting recognised, something could have been done sooner. Equally, there are many ways that the ACL training could make itself profitable outside the training course itself but have chosen not to do so.

    However, without any detail as to what the CLSB intends to do now that they have abolished the course, the prospect of CLs getting any recognition seems impossible. The move instead makes it appear as if the CLSB wants to simply ditch CLs as a profession altogether. I hope – and I assume – that they have a proper plan, but I think they ought to have formulated it and/or shared it before taking this rather drastic step.

    1. Not an ACL member

      To ‘Exasperated Member’
      I know you will find if you read fully all Jackson has said about his sources of the materials he based fixed costs on, they were supplied by costs companies, owned and operated by Cost Lawyers.You are quite correct that no costs professional was involved in the CN figures. One suspects the Claimant faction did not trust to rely on them given they wanted a workable model moving forward, rather than something imposed based on ‘statistics’, but that is simply my conjecture.

      As for the electronic bills, the ACL was prominent in the consultation committee; plus I recall the company pushing it’s e-billing product as the ‘leader’ ahead of the suggested implementation of J-codes had links to prominent ACL members.

      What does strike me from your post, however, is disenchantment with the Council of the ACL and the direction the ACL was taken by such, to include the ACLT and the CLSB. Perhaps if you re-read my original comments, you may better appreciate what i mean about “far too many there just for the ‘accolade’ of having a title”…..

  5. I know the blame game doesn’t really produce a positive outcome but can I just say, if you were part of the ACL shambles between 2009- 2017 please kindly walk away now before people start to name and shame you. You don’t represent me (and never did) you represented your own companies constantly plugging your own products/services. Please do Jog along.

    I never saw us as part of the “establishment” as people say, I think we were a small band of experts who the establishment recognised. The whole CFA Regulation debacle, the Claims Direct/Accident Group scandals, the whole ATE (let me help you insure your risk free claim for £1000’s with a nothing but a piece of paper containing a promise)shenanigans! This was exploitation of poorly managed/implemented government/MOJ policy. It was costs experts who helped curtail that old gravy train, so in a way we haven’t helped ourselves, maybe we have served our purpose? I saw the ACL accounts and it hasn’t been profitable for years a bit like a few of the “big” costs firms.

    Can we start again please, where is that Lord Wolf Fella who got rid of Legal Aid and brought in CFA’s and success fees for risk? What a genius that guy was ……

    1. law costs draftsman

      Spot on cottonpicking, particularly the reference to Woolf. Let’s not forget the Blair governments’ involvement in that debacle. Do away with Legal Aid, except for Human Rights Claims, funny that.
      many of us predicted the demise of the profession once the ACL climbed into bed with Jackson. There are consolations though, namely, the general derision which greeted the J Codes which illustrate just how out of touch Jackson is and the complete waste of time spent by the Hutton Committee. Let’s hope costs counsel suffer the same difficulties we do.

  6. Bit late bet hey ho.

    The ACL of which I was a member for many years, has long been a joke. I always felt being a Fellow meant something. Now….nah. No thanks.

    Re the state of play generally…in my opinion there was never a problem to fix. The whole thing has been a debacle created by a vocal minority who have jettisoned the right of the individual to seek legal redress by making it complex, expensive and commercially pointless; in order to line their own pockets courtesy of terrible spreadsheets and books.

    Much like a fly battering itself against a window, the new excel bill will fail. It has been pushed based on a Judge with ZERO knowledge of IT systems, encouraged by a small group of people who directly benefit financially, it has not been properly trialled but is being rushed out as some kind of magic fix. It is all going to go at*e over t*t.

    And don’t get me started on J Codes….Joke Codes more like.

    And with the MOJ seeing it’s finances battered yesterday, who is picking up the tab for the extra screens?

    I hope someone burns down these people’s ivory towers.

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