Here at T M Costings, we welcome the recent ruling in Ben Hoare Bell Solicitors & Ors, R (On the Application Of) v The Lord Chancellor  EWHC 523 (Admin) (03 March 2015). This ruling overturned recently-introduced limitation on the availability of legal aid funding for judicial review cases.
About Toby Moreton
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In recent months, the official status of the costs lawyer profession has continued to grow. We’ve recently re-launched our degree-level professional qualification, and have been formally recognised within the new guideline hourly rates (GHR) regime for the first time. It’s therefore unfortunate that Queen’s Bench Master David Cook has questioned our role in the costs budgeting process.
The war of words between the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and the legal profession over court fees escalated during the last week of February. Nine signatories, including the Law Society, Bar Council and Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, have now signed a pre-action protocol letter as a prelude to a possible judicial review of the MoJ’s plan. The letter claims six grounds for challenging the MoJ’s scheme – including that they would be tantamount to ‘selling justice’, contrary to the principles of Magna Carta.
The Association of Costs Lawyers (ACL) has been granted leave to intervene in the case of Coventry v Lawrence. The case will consider whether the recoverability of additional liabilities (ie success fees and ATE insurance premiums) under the Access to Justice Act 1999 infringed Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights and/or Article 1 of the First Protocol to the Convention.
In a recent libel case, the High Court clarified the judiciary’s approach to contingencies within budgets. In the dispute, contingencies accounted for around 10 per cent of both sides’ future estimated costs.
The Law Society’s Council has agreed to seek judicial review of the legal aid crime duty tender process.
Where the Court orders a party to pay costs subject to a detailed assessment it will order that party to pay a reasonable sum on account of costs unless there is a good reason not to do so. Such power is not dependent upon the filing of a statement of costs, nor the type of funding arrangement in place
In September 2008 we opened our second office in Wooburn Green, Buckinghamshire. This has given us the additional space to allow us to take on new clients while maintaining and further enhancing our service levels.
We are proud to welcome our latest team member, Joanna Sinfield. Joanna qualified as a solicitor in 1995 and was in private practice until November 2007. She has been involved in all areas of costs drafting and negotiation since August 2006 with a particular interest and specialism for personal injury CFA funded work.
Neil joins after 9 years experience with another leading costs drafting firm where he gained considerable experience in both commercial costs disputes and personal injury CFA funded work. He is also widely experienced in attending detailed assessments both at the SCCO and county courts.