Costs News

15 December 2021
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Legal education big-hitter named new chair of ACL Training

Leading legal education specialist Sarah Hutchinson (pictured) has been named the new chair of ACL Training.

A one-time commercial solicitor, Ms Hutchinson worked for many years at the College (later University) of Law, latterly as director of professional development and then vice-president (business development).

In 2015, she joined legal education provider Barbri Global as its international managing director and delivered its offering for the Solicitors Qualifying Examination. She stepped down in July, becoming a non-executive director of Barbri.

Ms Hutchinson is the immediate past chair of the International Bar Association’s Section of Public and Professional Interest and has provided legal education consultancy to bar associations, universities, law firms and government departments in many jurisdictions.

ACL chair Claire Green said: “Sarah comes to us from a dazzling background of achievements in the legal education forum. We are fortunate to have her and look forward to working closely with her as we advance into the future with the CLSB’s vision of the new competency statement.”

Ms Hutchinson said: “I am delighted to be appointed to the chair of ACLT. The new ACLT board has an exciting opportunity to re-evaluate the education and qualifications for aspiring Costs Lawyers to reflect current practice. Our objective is to ensure the next generation of Costs Lawyers will be prepared for their qualifications and careers, and will be best able to fulfil their employers’ and clients’ needs.

“We will offer training and qualifications that are attractive and relevant and will bring the most able and committed candidates into the profession.”

Ms Hutchinson is joined on the new ACLT board by Costs Lawyers Ian Gilbert, an associate and technical specialist at Irwin Mitchell, and Ben Nethercott, an advocate at Civil & Commercial Costs Lawyers.

In other news, we are very pleased to report that, following an approach by the ACL, the Legal 500 directory has agreed to introduce Costs Lawyers as a new section in its main annual publication.

The section will assess the work handled by Costs Lawyers at both law firms and costs consultancy practices.

The Legal 500 said: “We are looking at the teams and specialists handling all aspects of legal costs, from budgeting and project planning through to recovery and costs claims.

“Relevant work includes the drafting of bills and schedules of costs, advising on costs strategies, and involvement in cost disputes between solicitors, including acting as mediators/arbitrators. The top-ranked firms will be involved in high-stakes litigation and will be able to display evidence of work on cases of particular significance.”

The deadline for submissions is 31 March and we would strongly encourage members to enter to ensure the section gets off to a good start. The guidelines and submission forms can be found here.

The rival Chambers & Partners already includes costs specialists in its litigation support guide.

Finally, we need members to complete the annual ACL survey and have your say on the big issues facing Costs Lawyers.

It should only take five minutes to complete and will help the association take the temperature of the market and provide opportunities to have our voice heard. Click here to take the survey.

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