A Costs Lawyer is a type of lawyer who specialises in settling the legal costs of court cases. This legal specialist will work across all the types of costs that court proceedings can involve.
A typical case for costs lawyers like these will be working out the costs that a failed litigant has to pay if they are ordered by the court to cover the legal costs of their opponent. The Costs Lawyer will advise on the legality of disputing various parts of costs before the case is settled. Costs Lawyers are often experienced Advocates who have Rights of Audience before the majority of Courts in England and Wales.
Another common piece of work that Costs Lawyers may become involved with is if a client and their solicitor cannot come to an agreement about the solicitor’s fees. A Costs Lawyer may be asked to advise on legal aspects of a case such as this and take the side of either party as they make a legal case.
It’s also common for a Costs Lawyer to get involved where legal aid is being used by a participant in a court case, usually to assess the amount that will be required ahead of a solicitor receiving payment. The Costs Lawyer will often be instrumental in processing the claim for the legal aid payment.
For obvious reasons, Costs Lawyer must be highly trained and experienced in the law and also in the system of legal fees. These specialist lawyers usually draw a salary similar to that of a solicitor. It’s common for legal firms such as litigation solicitors to employ Costs Lawyers as they use them regularly for advice during their casework. It’s also common for Costs Lawyers to work with other Law Costs Draftsmen / Costs Lawyers in specialist organisations or as independents who work on a case by case basis, like a contractor.
Costs Lawyers are regulated by a professional body called the Association of Costs Lawyers (ACL). This organisation aims to maintain standards, keep members up-to-date with changes in their area, contribute to legal reform where necessary and provide its members with a professional code of conduct.
If you require assistance please contact one of our Costs Lawyers: Shaun Higginbotham, Andrew Armson, or Rachel Hutt.