23 June 2022

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“Our skills have never been more needed” – ACL welcomes report on profession’s future

Ridgway says findings validate “the opportunities we see for our members to expand the services they offer beyond traditional bill drafting”

Jack Ridgway

The Association of Costs Lawyers has responded positively to the Hook Tangaza report on the future of the costs profession.

Chair Jack Ridgway said: “This extremely valuable report represents the most in-depth review of the Costs Lawyer market ever. It validates the opportunities we see for our members to expand the services they offer beyond traditional bill drafting and ultimately help clients control their costs more effectively than now.

“More than a decade on from the Jackson review, there is clearly a growing clamour from the courts and clients to get an even greater grip on costs, and our members have the training and experience to be at the heart of that push.

“It is encouraging that the report found Costs Lawyers have a positive impact on the level of costs, rather than just moving them between the parties.

“The report sets both the ACL and the CLSB, as well as the wider legal profession, some significant challenges if we are to increase this impact, however.

“We need to do more to make solicitors understand the value we add to the litigation process from the start, and not just at the end, while the current work of ACL Training to update the Costs Lawyer qualification next year will be critical in ensuring our profession is ready for the future.

“The report’s recommendations for a greater focus on the ultimate client, rather than just the professional client, and to stress our role as independent, trained and regulated specialists, set costs lawyers in an exciting direction. Our skills have never been more needed.

“It is up to the ACL and its members, in partnership with our regulator, to make sure we deliver.”

CLSB chief executive Kate Wellington said: “The report highlights a need for all legal services regulators to focus on how legal costs can be better controlled, and the CLSB will play its part in that.

“We will now take forward the findings in a programme of work that aims to bring the maximum benefits to end users of legal services.”

The research was funded by a grant from the government’s Regulators Pioneer Fund. Business minister Lord Callanan commented: “This project by the CLSB could help bring benefits to British businesses by reducing legal costs while helping keep the UK at the cutting-edge of innovation.”