Legal Cost Specialists

Legal Costs

Costs training during lockdown

By on Apr 9, 2020 | 0 comments

Congratulations to all the speakers and The Legal Training Consultancy for managing to proceed with the Solicitor and Client Costs Conference last week. The event was live streamed over Zoom with the speakers giving their talks from their respective lockdowns. There were some inevitable comic moments with technical issues but, to be fair, most of these came from the delegates rather than the speakers.  (My tip for delegates at these conferences is to watch via a desktop computer with any microphone and webcam unplugged.  Anything else is just asking for...

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Legal Costs Central

By on Nov 1, 2019 | 0 comments

I’ve run a complete overhaul on Legal Costs Central (the one-stop gateway to legal costs information on the internet) part of our website.  This has updated all the relevant rules and fixed a number of broken links. Let me know if there is anything else I should be adding.

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White Paper Costs Conference

By on Jan 23, 2019 | 0 comments

The White Paper Conference Company has lined up another excellent costs conference on Costs Litigation: Shaping New Law into Solution-Focused Answers for Your Clients on 13 March 2019.  The speakers include: Regional Costs Judge Ian Besford, Alexander Hutton QC, Judith Ayling (39 Essex Street), Roger Mallalieu (4 New Square), David Marshall (Anthony Gold Solicitors), Alice Nash (Hailsham Chambers), Master Jason Rowley, and PJ Kirby QC. Priced at just £249 plus VAT including lunch and refreshments.  Book at: https://whitepaper.co.uk/conferences/costs19/...

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Friston on Costs

By on Jan 9, 2019 | 2 comments

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...

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Most Outstanding Legal Costs Litigation Firm 2018 – London

By on Aug 8, 2018 | 0 comments

The first problem with the vanity legal awards industry is that they are often ridiculously wide in the nature of the awards they seek to distribute, to the extent to which the awards are meaningless (even if they were distributed on merit). For example, Wealth & Finance INTL magazine previously awarded Gibbs Wyatt Stone ‘Most Outstanding Law Firm of 2016, the UK’.  I would not argue with the outstanding nature of the work we undertake but modesty does call even me to question whether a niche costs firm can ever seriously be considered the best law firm in the whole country (even if only for 2016). Alternatively, they give “awards” that are not remotely appropriate to the firm in question (eg we have been offered “Asset Manager of the Year – North America”).  You might think they would take a little more trouble to find out what kind of a firm they are contacting before sending the email out. Fair play then to Acquisition International magazine for awarding Gibbs Wyatt Stone ‘Most Outstanding Legal Costs Litigation Firm 2018 – London’.  This at least shows they have the sense to consider the nature of the work undertaken by the firm before sending out a targeted email.  I am not sure it is sufficient to persuade me to sign up to one of their packages to promote winning this “prestigious” award, such as: The Exclusive Package – 1,450 GBP – (Limited spaces available) – Supporting image and headline on the front cover of the magazine – A 4-page editorial inclusion in the first 20 pages – 3 hard copies of the edition your inclusion appears in – Your inclusion replicated on the homepage of our website – Your inclusion in the monthly newsletter, for 3 months – A 3-month web banner – 3 bespoke crystal trophies – A personalized digital logo for use in your own marketing – High-resolution PDF copies of your inclusion These online only magazines are clearly not read by anybody (other than other reward recipients wanting to read their own self-written glowing testimonials).       It is clear from the contents of this magazine, by way of example only, that there are legal and financial firms across the...

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VAT Skeleton Argument

By on Mar 8, 2016 | 9 comments

The last increase in the VAT rate occurred on 4 January 2011. It is therefore surprising, to say the least, that some receiving parties appear to be still ignorant of the rules relating to work undertaken when the VAT rate was lower (15% or 17.5%). (Of course, it is perfectly possible that this is simply a wheeze to try to recover VAT at a higher rate and then pocket the difference between that actually charged.) In any event, I have updated my VAT Skeleton Argument and the links to the relevant documents on Legal Costs...

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