Shortly before Christmas the new edition of Friston on Costs landed on my doormat. Obviously, I do not mean that literally. They have yet to design a letterbox large enough for a book this size and, if you order online, the description has a two-person delivery symbol beside it to indicate the number needed to carry it.
The first edition of this book, still less than 10 years old, ran to 1,245 pages ignoring the preface and contents pages. This third edition comes in at 2,138 pages and now comes in a heavy cloth binding.
Fortunately, this is not a case of “never mind the quality, feel the width”.
Since the second edition was published (in 2012), the costs world has seen a continuous stream of new case law. This is all seamlessly introduced into the new edition. However, more importantly, the intervening period has also seen the introduction of the Jackson reforms. This led to major changes to the cost rules, the introduction of entirely new areas of costs procedure (such as costs budgeting) and the inevitable explosion of further case law on the new procedures. This new edition is therefore not simply a general update but is, in large part, a comprehensive rewrite.
The overall scope of the book is an encyclopaedic as ever. This will be the first port of call for research by all costs practitioners and costs judges. (I have already found it indispensable to securing a win on a point of principle.) No topic – however obscure – appears to have been overlooked.
This latest addition includes more general commentary on costs law – from both the author and other legal commentators – than previous editions. This is welcome. The fact that there is generally only a finite amount of case law from the higher courts on costs law, combined with the fact that much of the Jackson reforms are still settling in, means that any guidance or thoughts from respected costs experts is to be warmly embraced.
Unfortunately, advocates are unlikely to want to carry a copy of this book to court in addition to a copy of the White Book. (Did I mention the size of Friston on Costs?) Fortunately, the book also comes in electronic form. The iOS compatible version comes with its own app. On a standard iPad this works at lightning speed and makes searching for topics a breeze. I have not tried this on other platforms, although expect the Windows and Android versions to be similar. Amazon is also selling a Kindle version of the book, but suspect this is may not be as fast. (Personally, I now have the White Book, Friston on Costs and Cook on Costs all in ebook form on an iPad and just take that to court.)
Remarkably, the book is being sold at barely cost price. The full price for the hard copy is just £175. To get both the hard copy and ebook costs just an extra £25. (Amazon currently have the Kindle edition for just £148.79.)
For a limited period, readers of the Legal Costs Blog can obtain a 20% discount off the full price by entering the code “ALFLY5F” when ordering on the publisher’s website.
The author deserves the undying gratitude of the rest of the costs profession. The latest edition alone must have taken hundreds of hours to write (not to mention eyewatering amounts of lost fee earning time). On the back of this book, lesser lawyers will save immeasurable amounts of research time and give the impression they are considerably more knowledgeable than the facts would justify. Standing on the shoulders of giants…
The bible of the legal costs world is back, bigger and better than ever.