Costs News

06 December 2017
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ACL urges CLSB to reverse decision to suspend Costs Lawyer qualification

The Costs Lawyer Standards Board has not committed to replying to a letter from the ACL Council calling on the regulator to reverse its recent statement that it was suspending further intake on to the Costs Lawyer qualification in light of falling numbers joining the course.

Members may have seen the letter published on the website forum, describing the decision as “misconceived, incorrect, contrary to the policy on regulators code and unhelpful”.

It continued: “This statement has caused a great deal of concern to those who have already committed to undertaking the course that is being provided by ACLT and has also had a detrimental effect upon potential new entrants into the profession.

“While it remains uncertain if the September 2018 intake will prove to make the current course financially viable, that position is not definite at this early stage. To state or imply, by the words used in the newsletter, that it is a foregone conclusion is unhelpful scaremongering. It is quite clear that this statement was not properly considered before it was published. It was published without any consultation.”

The Council said it was incumbent on the ACL and its members to do all they could to promote the profession “and it is equally important that the CLSB, as the regulator for Costs Lawyers, take such steps as are reasonably practical to further this aim”. The statement issued by the regulator could damage this, it said.

The letter concluded: “What is required now is a clear statement from the CLSB clarifying the position and providing assurances to existing and any future potential students that facilities are and will be available to enable them to qualify as Costs Lawyers. If decisions have already been made on alternative entry routes, which we believe is not the case, this should be made clear to all members and include students.

“It would also be helpful if the CLSB extends an apology to any member who may have experienced anxiety or concern regarding their future in the profession by reason of the statement.”

CLSB chief executive Lynn Plumbley told Costs Lawyer: “The letter is under consideration. If a response is considered appropriate, one will be issued in due course.”



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