Whilst opening a recent copy of New Law Journal, a complimentary copy of Butterworths Civil Costs Newsletter fluttered out. Now, there’s obviously no such thing as too much legal costs information and so another publication devoted to the subject can be no bad thing. However, on the back of the newsletter was a form to complete: "YES! I would like a 12-month subscription to Butterworths Civil Costs Newsletter, please invoice me for £185".
So, what do you get for your £185? Based on the edition I saw:
- This monthly newsletter consists of 8 sides of A4 paper. Other than a short plug for a Costs and Litigation Funding Conference, you’ll be pleased to learn there are no advertisements.
- The first page provides some news items. These consist of short reports on a government consultation on the legal aid budget, the Birmingham Technology and Construction Court and Mercantile Courts costs-management pilot regime and the Law Society’s response to the Jackson Review. All interesting, but most of this would have already been reported in other legal journals.
- Page 2 consists of an article by Richard Scorer, Head of Personal Injury at Pannone LLP, arguing that claimants should not lose part of their damages to pay legal costs. A perfectly interesting article but one that has simply been reprinted with a couple of additional paragraphs from an article that appeared a few weeks earlier in New Law Journal.
- Page 3 consists of an analysis by Michael Cook (of Cook on Costs fame) on some of the issues raised by the Jackson Review.
- Page 4 and 5 provides a short analysis on the rules relating to costs estimates. This is largely simply reciting sections of the Costs Practice Direction and Solicitors’ Code of Conduct, rather than providing fresh commentary.
- Pages 6 and 7 contains what is probably the highlight of the newsletter, being a review of the law relating to payments on account and interim costs orders by 4 New Square chambers.
- Page 8 consists of a case summary of a decision concerning third party costs order by the Costs Team at Kings Chambers. Although an interesting case, it is clearly very fact specific.
All in all, £185 a year seems rather optimistically priced. The New Law Journal itself costs £285 a year for a weekly publication and contains regular costs articles including those written by the Costs Team at Kings Chambers. The Solicitors Journal, also weekly, costs £283.80 a year and includes Costs Updates written by yours truly.
Although not entirely a fair comparison, Peter Hurst’s Civil Costs, 865 pages in hardback, is priced at £198 and Cook on Costs 2009 is priced at £82 for 741 pages in paperback.
However, in terms of value for money, my spies in the costs world inform me that a new entrant to the market will win the crown (see previous post) hands down.
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