The 2010 edition of the Association of Law Costs Draftsmen’s diary contains advertisements from six barristers’ chambers holding themselves out as specialists in legal costs matters. Five of these give the names of the barristers in their costs teams. The number of named individuals totals 49. There are a number of other chambers who have costs specialists who did not advertise in the diary. So how many specialist costs barristers are there? There were a large number of names I did not recognise and it may be that there is a certain amount of wishful thinking going on as to who can be properly described as a costs specialist. Alternatively, it may be that they operate in areas of costs law that I do not deal with and our paths therefore do not cross.
A number of years ago, and before there were anything like the current number of specialist costs counsel, a senior judge (can anyone remind me who?) expressed displeasure about the fact that the complexity and number of legal costs disputes had reached the level that some lawyers were basing their whole career on costs matters.
Quite how many will be left in the post-Jackson world remains to be seen but their prospects are probably better than those of a large number of costs draftsmen.
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