Qualifying as a Solicitor

Having spent some time with a number of solicitors at the excellent White Paper Conference at the delightful Gray’s Inn, it was apparent to many attending that it was great to learn about changes in case law, Jackson effects, new best practices etc, but it would also be good to learn some of the basics about costs, case management and things that really should have been covered when learning to become a lawyer.

Gray's Inn 

So, empowered by this I am setting forth on my quest and building on my well-received ebook – to educate the legal profession. It never ceases to amaze me that there are solicitors out there who do not know what a client care letter is, how they are going to be paid for their services, how to put a file together. What effect does failure to obtain an order directing that costs are to be assessed ‘forthwith’ have?

 

I would be bold and suggest that it would be better for all to not be embarrassed and accept we do not know everything. I will put my hand up and accept that there are areas of law that I do not fully understand, namely that relating to legal aid (which is why I employ an expert in the field to cover my minor inadequacies).

 

I recently received points of dispute claiming that my bill of costs was not in the correct format and that a success fee was not recoverable on the costs of preparing the bill. Needless to say, the solicitor in question will be receiving the benefit of my wisdom, when he is referred to CPR Costs Practice Direction where the format of a bill is explained, and KU v Liverpool City Council, in which the  Court of Appeal explained that the CFA covers the case until the conclusion, and that includes the Detailed Assessment hearing.

 

In order to assist my quest, I would be eternally grateful if anyone could forward details of what is covered / not covered when they undertook the LPC course and / or what details solicitors believe they should know about costs, but do not. A copy of the ebook to all respondents.

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Elephant in the room

There are a number of elephants in the room at present:
1) Alternative Business Structures
2) Mergers & Acquisitions
3) Jackson / LASPO

Law firms, whether you are a sole practitioner, small high street practice or even regional & national firm will be affected.

Solicitors and law firms, both traditional and modern will need to adapt and take any advantage or opportunity that may help them rise above the new entrants in the market and the storms rumbling on due to LASPO, and and adopt best possible working practices.

One of which would be to ensure your fee earners are employed in the most costs effective way – fee earning. The second thing would be to employ the services of experts in the field of costs and profitability – namely a costs lawyer.

Why would you do that?

The main one is that they are the most up to date on costs law, CFAs, ATE disputes, third party costs orders etc. But another point often overlooked is that the costs lawyer has the added benefit of comparing what other firms are doing with what you are doing and helping in an advisory capacity to improve best working practices.

Contact Carlisle Legal Costing on 01228 63 55 45 to discuss how we can help you further.

We will be happy to attend your offices to host costs seminars and training, or visit us for our next one coming next month.