Association of Costs Lawyers’ Election


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The upcoming Association of Costs Lawyers’ election is turning into quite an interesting affair. (That’s a combination of words I never expected to write.)

This does remind me of my ill-advised campaign of 1978/79 for classroom milk monitor. Goodness knows, I’m not one to bear a grudge after all these years, but I’d swear that Julie Simpson tampered with the ballot papers.  And she was the teacher.

Oddly, half the debate to date seems to be focused on whether there should be a debate at all over the future direction of the ACL or whether such a debate should be in private.

I have had comments posted on the Legal Costs Blog that there should be no criticism of the current direction of the Council because this is what members voted for at the last AGM. Implicit in this is that that there should now be no debate about the future direction despite there being an upcoming election.

There was recently a general election and the government is now implementing what people voted for. That hardly precludes further political discussion until the next election and certainly would not preclude debate at the next election. (OK, maybe the last general election is not the best example of people simply getting what they voted for, but the general point hold good.)

It’s been suggested on the Blog that the ACL members’ forum is the best place for any debate, if there is to be one.  Then, on the forum, someone suggested that that is not the place for such a debate.

What I am conscious of in all this is that I am probably boring my regular readers (God bless both of you) to tears with all this talk about the ACL. This may be of some interest to that proportion of readers who are members of the ACL and they can join in the discussion further via the ACL members’ forum. The “manifestos” of other candidates are being made available there and I would be happy to answer any specific questions members may have about my views. This is an opportunity for members to clearly express their views on the future direction of the Association.

Like all those running for elected office, I promise to say whatever I think you’ll want to hear and I may therefore give entirely contradictory responses depending on what answer I think the questioner will hope for.


10 thoughts on “Association of Costs Lawyers’ Election


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    Anonymous on said:

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    So the ACL, whom want to be “representative of the whole profession”, elect to conduct a debate on the future way in which they will represent the profession, behind the closed doors of its members forum – which precludes the input of the greater proportion of the profession as at todays date

    Send that suggestion to the Government, Simon, they will adopt it in a flash in the knowledge they can decide themselves if they stay in power!


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    Simon Gibbs on said:

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    If there really are non-members out there who are interested in this debate they should get posting.


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    Anonymous on said:

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    Younger Draftsmen who would consider joining the ALCD/ALC are likely to be doing low value fast track work.

    Please explain why any such people would want to pay and join an organization that is backing proposals that will take work away and subsequently leave them jobless.


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    Simon Gibbs on said:

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    Presumably the “proposals” you refer to are the Jackson proposals. If that juggernaut cannot be stopped by the likes of APIL then the ACL had no chance. If they had opposed an extension of fixed costs, that would have simply looked like special pleading. Which is what most people have been engaged in, and little good it has done them.


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    Anonymous on said:

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    Are the ACL prepared to have an OPEN debate, to ALL members and non-members, as to the future and direction of the costs profession as a whole?

    Jackon is with us and will be implemented, either wholly or in part, and history tells us it will likely be a hash of the original which will create more problems than it solves (it never ceases to amaze me, that no matter how smart the Lawlords are in making the rules, there are smarter draftsmen capable of finding the “holes”!) – there is a likely impact for draftsmen, especially more Junior members, but if we fail to cater for them as a Profession, then irrespective of what is done now by the present hierarchy to protect themselves, and I do say that with respect, then we will be substantially FAILING the profession overall, by failing to safeguard its future.

    I am not an ACL member. I have been a draftsman for 20+ years. I NEED the ACL to show me it is not just about itself, and to LISTEN to everyone in the profession. Perhaps then I will consider it representative, and I may join. I doubt I am alone in this view………


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    Anonymous on said:

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    Thanks for clearing up why the ALCD/ACL have backed the proposals or rather why they didn’t oppose them. I mean God forbid the ALCD/ACL should look they are special pleading in trying to safeguard the interests of people in the profession.

    Lets be honest here, there is still a huge number of members and Cost Lawyers who are still only doing low value stuff and could be out of a job.

    This thread concerns why the ALCD/ACL are not and have not been representative and why many do not join, my previous post is a prime example.


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    Kevin Hassey on said:

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    Never take much interest in anonymous contributions. This is a blog providing a unique service and in my opinion you are free to deal with any subject you feel relevant. The decison at the last AGM was for regulation and I do not think any body is proposing to withdraw. However how to benefit from this status and the use of the same is fitting for debate particularly as to expanding membership of the ALCD. If the ALCD wants to represent the whole profession the more debate that gives access to non ALCD members the better.As for debate within the ALCD it would be more appropriate if there was a structure where all candidates to the election had the same and equal opportnity to put forward their position. The problem with the current election is that I suspect that most members,of the ALCD, including me, do not know who is standing for election and for what post.


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    Glenn Newberry on said:

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    Dear Anonymous

    On a practical level, have you (recently) written to the ACL (as it now is) setting out your views on the costs profession, where you would like to see the ACL go and what steps the ACL could/should take that would lead you to join?

    I ask for a number of reasons not least of which is a number of points you make may well be valid although I have to agree with Simon, trying to stop the Jackson reforms would have been a little bit like being the only South African voting for the continuation of apartheid! Not only futile but clearly self serving rather than in the wider interests of the legal profession and consumer, and would have damaged the ACL’s long term credibility.

    The second is the ALCD as then was attempted to conduct a survey of non members a few years ago (at some expense) to ascertain reasons why they were not members. The problem was the response/take up was disappointing to say the least and nowhere near the 5,000 or so believed to be working in costs but outside the ACL. Perhaps the Council will consider such an exercise should be undertaken again now but that is a matter for them.

    You can’t expect the ACL to “LISTEN” if you do not talk to them and as enjoyable and informative as Simon’s Blog is, he would (probably) be the first to concede that it is not a direct line to the ACL Council.

    But you should not be surprised if the elected, and volunteer unpaid members of the ACL Council, choose not to act in accordance with the direction non-members think the ACL should be taking (I think it’s important to remember those on the Council are unpaid volunteers), after all, ASLEF do not canvass my opinion before they take their members out on strike.


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    Andy Ellis on said:

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    There are loads of ways costs people outside the ACL can make themselves heard – including blogs like this. I agree with Glenn about that. Blimey what have I just said ;-)


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    Glenn Newberry on said:

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    It has indeed been a seminal day in the world of costs, I agreed with Simon, Andy agreed with me, Costs Peace has broken out. Amen to you all brothers :D

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