Hat into the ring


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One of the joys of writing the Legal Costs Blog is the freedom to widely criticise anything that takes my fancy without any sense of responsibility or need to offer constructive alternatives.

Like all the best things in life, I suppose this had to end.

Through a combination of cajoling and arm twisting, I have been persuaded to put my name forward for election to the Council of the Association of Costs Lawyers.

The usual trick to being successfully elected to any position is to ruthlessly court popularity. I fear it is far too late for me to adopt that approach as of the various comments that have been made of me since I first started to write the Legal Costs Blog, attempting to court popularity has not been one of them.

Over the next few days I will try to detail the aims that I would hope to work towards with the Council if elected.

However, I suppose the common theme will be the goal of ensuring that the ACL, or more importantly its members, will be ready for the post-Jackson/post-legal aid reform world. The costs profession is about to shrink dramatically. When it does, ACL members need ensure they are perfectly positioned to be amongst the survivors. This is a daunting task and there is very little time to act.

In the highly unlikely event that I were to be elected, I will expect merciless criticism of everything I do and absolutely no thanks in return.


6 thoughts on “Hat into the ring


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    badgerfluff on said:

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    Better to have him inside the tent p*ssing out, than outside p*ssing in.(Lynden B. Johnson)


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    Bonfire on said:

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    If you truly wish to become a Council member of the ACL and feel that you can make a difference the place to promote your candidacy is on the ACL member’s forum. As has been said by many before me discussions about Costs Lawyers and what you perceive to be wrong with the Association are best aired to the members i.e. those who select the officers of the association – not to the outside world.


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    Simon Gibbs on said:

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    The ACL is a regulated body pressing for protected body status. The Association previously explained that the effect of achieving this: “would mean that only approved members of the ALCD could represent parties in costs proceedings. Effectively, this would require the unregulated part of our profession to either join the ALCD or be precluded from participating in costs proceedings”.

    The Association can no longer treat itself as being a private members club whose business is nobody’s business but its own.

    Regulation and aiming for protected body status bring these issues correctly into the public domain. That is the natural consequence of the road the Association has chosen to take.


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    Bonfire on said:

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    It is in effect a private member’s club so far as its elected officials are concerned. Nobody outside the Association can take part in the election of Officers and it is limited to those who are Fellows and Costs Lawyers, not even trainees have a vote.

    Effectively what you are saying is that the members of the Association cannot be trusted to elect their own officers and therefore it is for the outside world to comment. The longer that you continue in this vein the more you demonstrate that you do not have the best interests of the members or the Association at heart.

    Regulation is well under way with the setting up of the Costs Lawyers Standards Board which will have both professional and lay members and it is that which will regulate the profession – not the Council of the ACL. This is all in the public domain as can be seen from the Legal Services Board’s own website.

    So, there is no reason why you should promote your candidacy for the Council on anything other than the ACL member’s forum.


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    Simon Gibbs on said:

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    I’ve no objection to anonymous readers of the Blog, who presumably are voting members, posting public comments that I “do not have the best interests of the members of the Association at heart”. Such is the nature of open debate, which some object to.

    I’ve no idea why trainees should not be entitled to vote for those who represent them and who will control the future direction of the Association, or indeed, stand.

    The Association currently represents a relatively small proportion of those who work in the field of legal costs (although there is no way of knowing what proportion). If the Association wishes to bring the whole profession within its fold, it does not seem unreasonable to suggest that those currently outside might have a legitiamte interest in knowing what goes on inside, even if they obviously have no right to vote.

    In so far as using the ACL members’ forum to promote my candidacy, I have been “afforded” by the ACL, along with other nominees, “the opportunity to canvass the membership by a short statement of no more than 250 words, addressing the following issues: Work history; History with ALCD/ACL; What you would wish to achieve as a Council member”.

    If the ACL members’ forum is also available, this has not been made clear.


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    Not Simon Gibbs on said:

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    ‘I’ve no idea why trainees should not be entitled to vote for those who represent them and who will control the future direction of the Association, or indeed, stand.’

    Quite obviously, as they are not full Members they should not be entitled to play any part in the formation of the Council. Theoretically, any trainee could fail the exams or indeed leave without completing the course.

    Presumably, much the same applies to prospective immigrants not being entitled to vote.

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