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Last year, much to my surprise (and no doubt the equal horror of many others), I was elected to the Council of the Association of Costs Lawyers.
The experience has been a fascinating and informative one, in no small part due to the fact that during this period the Council has been going through a fundamental change. Previously the ACL was a regulatory body. Now that task has been mainly transferred to the Costs Lawyer Standards Board with the ACL Council’s role now principally being that of a representative body.
These changes raise a number of interesting issues but do mean that the role of the Council is no longer the same as the Council to which I was elected. Further, as those who followed the previous election process will remember, I stood on rather a specific manifesto of reform. Having found myself elected in a minority of one on certain of those issues, it was inevitable the Council would continue in the same direction as before.
Having now served on the Council for a year I have therefore decided to stand down.
Whatever differences of opinion I may have had over certain decisions made over the past year, it has been a pleasure to work with the rest of the Council. I managed to escape very lightly, but the extraordinary amount of time and commitment that many of the other Council members have put in over the past year to ensure the smooth running of the Association and fulfil the requirements of the Legal Services Act is something of which most members will have absolutely had no idea.
In light of the new role of the ACL Council, a consultation document has been sent to ACL members proposing some very sensible changes to the structure of the Council.
Whatever, the future look of the Council, I wish it all the best for the future.