Costs News

17 December 2020
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News in brief - 18.12.2020

New issue of Costs Lawyer now available

The November/December issue of Costs Lawyer is now available to read and download here. It includes coverage of the ACL Annual Conference, the Belsner case and asks if you should fire some of your clients.


CLSB appoints senior academic as education adviser

The Costs Lawyer Standards Board (CLSB) has named Professor Carl Stychin as its independent education adviser.

Professor Stychin is currently director of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and professor of law in the School of Advanced Study at the University of London. A Canadian lawyer by qualification, he has headed the law school at Reading University and served as dean of The City Law School in London.

The CLSB said he has “extensive expertise in the education and training of professionals, including lawyers”, and also has experience in regulatory matters. He is currently a non-registrant member of the General Chiropractic Council, and an education visitor for the General Dental Council and the General Optical Council.


Serious injury lawyers say they should be paid at market rates

A party to a multi-track claim who makes a reasonable choice of solicitor for the type and scale of the claim in question ought to be able to recover at up to market rate for that work, the Forum of Complex Injury Solicitors (FOCIS) has told the Civil Justice Council working group reviewing the guideline hourly rates.

In its submission, FOCIS argued that complex injury claims have far more in common with complex commercial disputes of equivalent value than fast-track personal injury litigation. The average damages in the data submitted to the working group – with the assistance of costs firm Harmans – was £4.5m.

The data showed that the market rate for complex injury specialists was “markedly higher” than the GHR; however, while the rates actually allowed were, in most cases, well above the GHR, they were less than the market rate.

The average hourly rates allowed were 87-90% of those claimed, “suggesting the rates as claimed by FOCIS member firms were not excessive”, but only two of the 49 cases had rates allowed as claimed at all grades.

Chair Julian Chamberlayne, a partner and head of international injury at Stewarts Law, said: “These are claims of the utmost importance to our clients who have sustained life-changing disabling injuries and are reliant on the claim outcome to provide for their future financial wellbeing and care needs.

“It is consequently very important that they are able to instruct solicitors with genuine expertise in catastrophic injury claims without resigning themselves to a costs shortfall.”


Merry Christmas from Costs Lawyer

This is the last ACL eBulletin this year. We wish readers a Merry Christmas and very happy New Year.


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