Legal Cost Specialists


Law Society Model CFA

By on Feb 14, 2022 | 1 comment

The Law Society model conditional fee agreement is not very well drafted.  (Cue gasps of astonishment.) Although, when I say Law Society model CFA, currently no such thing exists.  The last model agreement was updated in 2014 and, even then, appears to have been a temporary job as the header to the document stated: “This model agreement is in the process of being amended to take make it fully compliant with the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013. You should refer to those regulations before using this model.” The agreement has now been removed from the Law Society website (apparently in July 2021) with a message stating: “The Law Society’s model conditional fee agreement (CFA) is in the process of being reviewed, and so is not currently published. Solicitors using an old version should be aware that it does not reflect all of the recent changes to legislation, or case law, that may affect the viability of CFAs. The model CFA and guidance were last updated in 2014. The model is intended for use in personal injury and clinical negligence claims. We will issue a revised version in due course, taking into account ongoing judgments from 2021. Thank you for your patience in the meantime.” Ignoring any issues with the previous Law Society model CFA not being up to date with the law (and one does wonder how well it reflects on the profession that the representative body for solicitors is unable to keep up to date with developments in the law), it contains basic drafting errors. The body of the agreement states: “Otherwise if you end this agreement before you win or lose, you pay are basic charges and expenses and disbursements. If you go on to win you also pay a success fee.” This is written in commendably clear language that the average lay person should be able to understand.  If the client ends the agreement early, the basic charges, expenses and disbursements are automatically payable (win or lose) at the point of termination.  If the client then goes on to win the claim, they will be liable to pay the success fee in addition. However, when you turn to the Law Society Conditions,...

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White Paper’s Costs Litigation Conference 2020

By on Jul 14, 2020 | 1 comment

White Paper’s always excellent annual costs conference did not proceed as normal this year for obvious reasons. However, the full conference with the full array of speakers proceeded as a pre-recorded webinar event. This is still available to view online here (until 29 July 2020) for a very modest £204 plus...

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Costs & Fees Encyclopaedia 2020-21

By on Apr 22, 2020 | 0 comments

The 2020-21 edition of the Costs & Fees Encyclopaedia has now been published.  This edition includes changes to costs and fees in the last 24 months including: Court of Protection, Civil Proceedings and Magistrates’ Courts Fees (Amendment) Order 2018 Immigration and Nationality (Fees) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 Legal Officers (Annual Fees) Order 2018 Ecclesiastical Judges, Legal Officers and Others (Fees) Order 2018 Immigration and Nationality (Fees) (Amendment) (EU Exit) (No. 2) Regulations 2018 Criminal Legal Aid (Remuneration) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2018 Public Record Office (Fees) Regulations 2018 Public Guardian (Fees, etc) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 It can be purchased direct from the publishers for...

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Remote working from home

By on Apr 2, 2020 | 0 comments

With much of the legal profession now in lockdown, attention has naturally started to focus on the use of telephone/video conferencing facilities to undertake court hearings, mediations, meetings, etc. Gordon Exall’s Civil Litigation Brief blog has been providing a large number of useful links providing various guidance on how to make use of this technology.  The natural danger with this is to believe this is largely a matter of acquiring the necessary technical know-how of Skype, Zoom, etc and understanding the appropriate etiquette (eg giving consideration to what will be seen in the background of your video call).  However, I have one word of warning: Scraps. For those of us already used to working from home, there is one thing that can be guaranteed to happen during a crucial telephone hearing, video conference with client, etc.  The guaranteed event is that the dog that has been happily snoozing at your feet for the past hour will suddenly hear the postman 200 yards down the road and start hysterically barking as though his life depended on it. Equally, you can also guarantee that the doorbell will go at a crucial moment.  Even if the dog is not already awake and barking, it will be now.  At normal times, and disregarding barking dogs, you might simply ignore the doorbell and continue.  These are not normal times.  If there is no one else in the house to answer the door at that moment, ignoring the doorbell is not an option.  It may be a courier delivery of papers with urgent instructions.  If you miss it, there is no way of knowing if, when or how you will be able to rearrange delivery.  Or, it may be an emergency gin delivery.  Either way, you will have to break-off to answer it. Four-legged friends are not the only peril.  Two-legged ones pose just as much of a danger.  You can explain to little Tarquin until you are blue in the face that “Daddy has a very important telephone hearing to deal with an application for relief from sanctions in the Chancery Division and must not be disturbed for the next two hours”.  But the moment Tarquin gets two crayons stuck up his nose, all...

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Coping with coronavirus

By on Mar 27, 2020 | 2 comments

Ancient Chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times” With much of the economy in total shutdown, coronavirus has had very limited disruption on my typical working day.  When we first set up 14 years ago, it was based on remote working for all fee earners and still is.  Other than the fact I will not be attending any in-person hearings for the foreseeable future, my day-to-day work continues virtually uninterrupted. I have therefore had to spend recent days worrying about first-world, middle-class, pandemic problems: Being informed by our cleaning lady, who has a compromised immune system, that she is now selfishly self-isolating at home and we will have to do our own dusting for the next few weeks. Noooooooooo! Discovering that streaming services are considering stopping all HD streaming and limiting to SD quality as the coronavirus crisis puts unprecedented load on interweb. Noooooooooo! Worrying as to whether the manufacturers of Fever Tree premium tonic water are key workers and, if not, how long existing UK supplies are going to last. Noooooooooo! Being told by Ocado that you are now limited to two boxes of quails eggs in any one order. Noooooooooo! I don’t have enough time left over to worry about getting...

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Senior Courts Costs Office Guide 2018

By on Nov 22, 2018 | 0 comments

The SCCO has published the updated Senior Courts Costs Office Guide 2018.  This is the first update since 2013. It provides a helpful summary of a number of procedural points.  It also provides a useful list of the current Regional Costs...

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