Costs News

23 October 2019
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Applications for Costs Lawyer training course to reopen this week

ACL Training will start accepting applications from prospective students who wish to begin the Costs Lawyer qualification in January 2020 from tomorrow (25 October).

The course outcomes remain unchanged. Trainees will need to complete two elements in order to qualify as a Costs Lawyer: a Level 6 academic qualification and a three-year period of supervised practice which can be completed before, during or after study of the academic element.

There are some positive changes, however. Following amendments made by the Costs Lawyer Standards Board (CLSB) in 2017 to its training rules, the module running order on the qualification has been re-worked and, for some, the academic element can now be completed in fewer than three years.

The modules that trainees study and how long this part of the course takes depends on the qualifications that applicants already hold. If trainees do not hold any legal qualifications, they will need to complete all three units of the qualification and it will currently take three years to complete. If trainees already hold a legal qualification, such as a qualifying law degree or graduate diploma in law, then they will be entitled to apply for exemptions.

Depending on prior learning and exemptions granted, it is possible a trainee may have a reduction in the time taken to complete the qualification to 12 months.

The CLSB has updated its website to reflect this and has published the syllabus and exemptions table.

Those interested in starting the course in January 2020 need to fill out the application form. The deadline for applications is 29 November 2019.

ACL chair Claire Green (pictured) said: “We are extremely pleased to have worked constructively with the CLSB so that we can reopen the route of entry into our profession. There are positive indications of interest in the course, and I hope current and prospective practitioners are encouraged by this development.”

Kate Wellington, chief executive of the CLSB, said: "The qualification is central to ensuring high standards of competency and professionalism among the next generation of Costs Lawyers. We look forward to working with ACL Training as it delivers the course to new students in 2020 and beyond."


Stewart Carroll   24/10/2019 at 12:24

Why does a freshly qualified law graduate get exceptions when someone who has, say, been dealing with legal costs for over twenty years and has attended countless detailed assessments and CCMC's not. As the ultimate aim is to produce a Costs Lawyer, not a person who can verbatim recite the CPR, why is practical experience ignored?

Kirsty Allison   24/10/2019 at 13:24

Hi Stewart, I do hope you're well. This is the same course you completed and exemptions have always been offered by ACLT. The only thing that has changed is the running order of the modules which means that those that have already completed some of the modules on the course (within other comparable qualifications) do not have to 'sit and wait' whilst others complete those modules. Practical experience will also still be assessed by ACL Training, trainees will still need to evidence three years of qualifying experience. I think you are suggesting that there should be a change to the assessment/qualification pathway. This would require regulatory change, i.e the CLSB would need to apply to the LSB to change the assessment/qualification. I hope this helps clarify but if you would like to discuss this with me further you have my email address/telephone number. Best wishes, Kirsty

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