ACL Membership

The Association of Costs Lawyers is the representative body for Costs Lawyers. To join as a full member you must be a qualified Costs Lawyer.

There are however a number of other membership categories:

  • Trainee membership
  • Affiliate membership
  • Retired membership
  • Honorary membership

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The ACL was founded in 1977 (as the Association of Law Costs Draftsmen) to promote the status and interests of its members. In those days, law costs draftsmen were not trained or qualified.

The ACL pioneered professional development for its members and its work was central to the elevation of law costs draftsmen to the status of qualified lawyers. Qualified, regulated law costs draftsmen are now given the title Costs Lawyer.

Until October 2011, the ACL both represented and regulated its members. In 2007, the organisation was appointed as a statutory authorised regulator under the Legal Services Act.

As part of its compliance with the requirements of the Act, the ACL delegated its regulatory work to the newly-formed Costs Lawyer Standards Board.

Today's ACL is a solely representative body, promoting the interests of Costs Lawyers to the legal profession, the government and the public.

It is run by an elected council with the assistance of an administrative staff and an education officer. In addition to its representative work, the ACL runs training courses for its members, for students who wish to qualify as Costs Lawyers and for the wider legal profession.

About Costs Lawyers

A Costs Lawyer is a qualified and regulated legal professional who specialises in the law and practice of legal costs.  Whilst carrying the title of ‘lawyer’, Costs Lawyers are not Solicitors, Barristers or Legal Executives.  Our services are predominantly sought by law firms, in addition Costs Lawyers are regularly instructed by members of the public including businesses. Find out more about the role of a Costs Lawyer.

Becoming a Costs Lawyer

To qualify as a Costs Lawyer, trainees must complete the ACL training course and a period of supervised legal practice over three years. The course provides a coherent programme of study, applied during work-based supervised practice. Both elements of qualification provide a framework to facilitate the acquisition of the legal knowledge, attitude, professional and practical skills expected of a Costs Lawyer.

Find out more about qualifying as a Costs Lawyer