ACL Manchester Conference 2022

Meet the speakers...


Master James (1)

Master Jennifer James

Costs Judge James studied Law at Lancaster University (LL.B(Hons)) and Criminology at Edinburgh University (LL.M) before training with a small niche practice in Cheshire and being admitted to the Roll of Solicitors in September 1992. She practised Costs Law throughout her career, initially with a PI/Clinical Negligence firm in Cheshire where she was involved in cases including the Myodil, Opren and Human Insulin pharmaceutical product liability multi-party actions, claims for compensation arising out of Beverley Allitt's criminal activities on Ward 4 at Grantham and Kesteven Hospital, and the first round of compensation claims arising out of the tragedy at Hillsborough. Moving to London in 1996, Costs Judge James ran the Costs Department for a Central London firm where she was involved in R (Factortame Ltd) v Secretary of State for Transport, Railtrack, Gruppo Torras SA v Al-Sabah and Vernon v Bosley. As well as appearing in the Senior Courts Costs Office, Costs Judge James presented cases in County Courts and High Court District Registries around England and Wales and also to a much lesser extent in the Privy Council and in the (as it then was) House of Lords.

She left private practice in 2003 to move into education, initially delivering training in best practice to law firms around the country and then from 2007 onwards as a Senior Lecturer in Civil Litigation on the Bar Professional Training Course at the University of Law. Costs Judge James was Called to the Bar of England and Wales (Lincoln's Inn) in 2016, and has also(briefly) practised Costs Law in Australia (with DG Thompson, Driscoll and Matters). She is a non-practising member of the New York State Bar, became a Fellow of the Association of Law Costs Draftsmen in 1999 and was on the Education sub-Committee of the Association of Costs Lawyers for several years. She was appointed as a Deputy Master in 2003, and in September 2015 became the first-ever full-time female Costs Judge/Taxing Master sitting in the SCCO. She is now also a Costs Officer sitting as required in the Supreme Court.


Professor Dominic Regan

Professor Dominic Regan

Dominic Regan is a well known speaker and writer on matters of Civil Procedure.

The law of Costs is close to his heart. He is a columnist at the ‘ New Law Journal’ and a regular contributor to ‘ Litigation Funding’ . 

This year he has been working to assist Professor Richard Moorhead on the civil litigation aspects of the Post Office scandal.


John Meehan

John Meehan

John specialises in costs and civil litigation. Prior to transferring to the Bar in 2019, John practised as a Solicitor-Advocate attending a wide range of costs hearings. At the Bar, he handles a full range of costs matters, with particular specialisms in fixed costs challenges, solicitor and client disputes and litigation funding. His solicitor-own client practice is particularly focused on assisting solicitor’s firms faced with challenges from former clients.  John acted as junior counsel in Edwards v Slater & Gordon UK Ltd [2022] EWHC 1091 (QB) and Raubenheimer v Slater & Gordon UK Ltd [2022] EWHC 1091 (QB). He is currently involved in a number of High Court appeals concerning solicitor and client costs.

John is regularly instructed to deal with complex fixed costs challenges, acting for both receiving and paying parties. 

John frequently publishes articles in the legal press, including for Litigation Funding magazine and Lexis Nexis.


15 Steven Green

Steven Green

Steven Green is a Partner at Irwin Mitchell Solicitors and a Costs Lawyer who has worked within the costs field for over 25 years. He heads what is thought to be the largest in-house costs team in the country.

He is a regular advocate at Detailed Assessment Hearings in all areas of Costs work including Clinical Negligence, Serious Personal Injury, Commercial, Public Law and Solicitor/Client cases.

He writes regularly in Legal Journals and has a particular interest with the funding of litigation and the development of CFAs and Third Party Funding


Emily Read

Emily Read

Emily’s costs work spans over a decade and so she has practical experience of both the old and the new costs regimes, costs management rules, rules about CFA’s and other forms of litigation insurance, funding and client contracts. Emily’s costs practice runs parallel to her ongoing core practice areas of clinical negligence, personal injury and property damage and so she also has the practical knowledge to understand how certain costs arise and the nuances of individual cases.

Emily’s interest is costs is also rooted in her keen interest in mathematics and statistics and she continues to be one of the contributing editors to Facts & Figures. 

12 King’s Bench walk is now developing a formidable costs team and Emily is one of the front runners of the team, which is headed by Andrew Roy who sits as a Deputy Costs Judge as well as having appeared in some of the most significant costs appeals of the past few years in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and High Court, including Ho v Adelekun (No. 3) [2021] UKSC 43; [2021] 1 WLR 513­, arguably the single most important costs decision of recent years.


Neil Rose

Neil Rose

Black Letter co-founder and strategic consultant Neil Rose is a highly experienced and award-winning journalist who provides clients of Black Letter Communications with expert, strategic insight, help in crafting their messages in the best way to attract the interest of the media, and top-quality editorial support.

Neil is a qualified solicitor and has been a legal journalist for more than 25 years. He is the founder and editor of Legal Futures, a news-driven website providing market intelligence for law firms of the future and is editor of the weekly ACL costs e-bulletin. He is a recognised market commentator on ABSs, legal regulation and the future of the market.

In 2014, he won the Legal Journalism of the Year award at the Halsbury Legal Awards.

Formerly deputy editor of the Law Society Gazette, Neil has freelanced for a wide range of publications, including The Guardian and The Times.


Sue Carr

Sue Carr

Sue Carr is an experienced journalist and editor who spent more than 12 years working for the Manchester Evening News and its associated titles. After leaving journalism, she moved to national law firm Slater & Gordon, where she spent six years as senior media advisor, helping to support clients and fee-earners while at the same time securing record coverage.

She has managed PR activity for the firm on a number of high-profile cases, including the Manchester Arena bombing, the Grenfell Tower tragedy and multiple abuse scandals engulfing the worlds of sport, religion, and politics.

Sue is highly-skilled in both corporate and consumer PR, crafting and delivering effective campaigns which raise the profile of individuals and organisations in the eyes of their people, their peers, and the public.


Rupert Cohen picture

Rupert Cohen

Rupert is listed in both Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners as a leading junior in costs litigation. He is described as “A costs wizard who is clearly very able. Clients love him as he is both succinct and conīŦdent.” “Costs is a highly rule-bound area of the law and he knows them all.” “He is a go-to for ATE disputes and anything which requires more technical arguments.”

Rupert regularly appears in the Court of Appeal, the High Court and the SCCO on costs matters ranging from Solicitors Act assessments, applications for security for costs and payments on account and indemnity costs to name but a few. He has also advised on a range of costs issues from the application of Part 36 to the assignment of CFAs. He has particular experience in non-party costs orders, DBAs, the enforceability of CFAs, contentious business agreements and issues arising from litigation funding.

Rupert is also a CADR mediator and ranked in Chambers & Partners as a mediator.


Nick McDonnell

Nick McDonnell

Nick McDonnell is a Costs Lawyer and a Director with Kain Knight.  Nick graduated from Cambridge University in 1998 and subsequently went into the law practicing civil litigation with a solicitors’ firm in Lancashire where he also took up an interest in costs.

Since then, Nick has become an expert in his field conducting high value and complex costs matters as well as delivering technical and practical training to firms of solicitors throughout England and Wales.

Nick continues to enjoy handling a complex caseload, with an emphasis on Commercial, Intellectual Property, Civil and Catastrophic Injury litigation, including costs management & budgeting, detailed assessment proceedings, as well as conducting appeals up to the Court of Appeal and assessments pursuant to the Solicitors Act 1974. Nick also has extensive experience as an advocate at costs hearings (even appearing in the Court of Appeal before Lord Justice Jackson) and is a qualified mediator.

Notable Cases:

West & Demouilpied v Stockport NHS Foundation Trust [2019] EWCA Civ 1220

A successful and important appeal where court gave guidance on the correct approach to challenges made by paying parties to the reasonableness and proportionality of after-the-event insurance premiums sought to be recovered by successful claimants in clinical negligence cases.  They also have general guidance on the general application of the ‘new’ proportionality test on costs in practice.

Khaira & Ors v Shergill & Ors [2017] EWCA Civ 1687

A successful appeal finding that an order made by the Supreme Court that one party should pay the other’s costs both in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal did not entitle the receiving party to an immediate assessment of the Court of Appeal costs, on the basis that the substantive claim was proceeding to trial.

Stone Rowe Brewer LLP v Just Costs Ltd [2015] EWCA Civ 1168

A successful appeal concerning the interpretation of the one-fifth rule in Solicitors Act 1974 detailed assessment proceedings. Specifically, the Court of Appeal considered the interpretation of special circumstances for the purpose of the s. 70(10) of the Act.

McDaniel & Co v Clarke [2014] EWHC 3826 (QB)

A successful appeal in Solicitors Act 1974 detailed assessment proceedings concerning the requirement to investigate alternative methods of funding before advising a lay client to enter into a Conditional Fee Agreement.


Erica Bedford

Erica Bedford

Erica is a sought after and experienced junior who practises exclusively in the law of costs

She has specialised in this niche area since 2003, qualifying as a Cost Lawyer and Solicitor prior to transfer to the Bar. 

She acts for both paying and receiving parties on matters arising from the full spectrum of civil litigation, but with particular emphasis on costs arising out of clinical negligence, high-value personal injury, and commercial litigation.   She regularly appears in high-value, technically complex matters before the Regional Cost bench and SCCO and on appeal.  She has considerable experience in managing retainer arguments, technical issues of procedural law and issues of misconduct. 

A member of CADR, she is an experienced mediator.  She is appointed to sit as a Deputy District Judge on the Northern Circuit. In 2021, Erica was appointed to the Regional B Panel of the Attorney General’s Panels of Junior Counsel to the Crown. Erica was also appointed as a Deputy Costs Judge of the Senior Courts Costs Office.