New costs QCs

Congratulations to Andrew Post and Alexander Hutton on their appointment as Queen’s Counsel.

It appears that eligibility for QC status is limited to practising barristers or practising solicitors who hold higher court rights of audience.

No scope for Costs Lawyers to apply.

Something for the Costs Lawyer Standards Board to look into?

7 thoughts on “New costs QCs

  1. If the powers that be are not even prepared to allow a CL to sit on the committee revising the Rules then the chance of a CL being made a QC is about the same chance of me playing for Man Utd this weekend.

  2. The problem is the term “costs lawyer” itself.

    A costs lawyer is not a lawyer in any other field. Rights of Audience are limited to a single area of expertise.

    The rank of QC must be reserved for those entitled to practice “the law” and not just one part of it.

    There is a very large difference between, say Mansfield QC who might personally decide to practice only in criminal law and a costs lawyer who is actively prevented from practising in another area.

    If a costs lawyer wishes to become a QC then completing studies into the 6 core / compulsory areas of law and becoming qualified to practice in all areas must come first. But then the person won’t be a costs lawyer, they will just be a lawyer, even if they have a speciality.

    There is also a general question of perception and un-earned arrogance. Could any single field expert rightly stand next to and equal with Bacon QC. Or Morgan QC or any of the exceptional juniors like Ben Williams.

    This is not about “knowing our place” this is about not weakening the rank and the value. If costs lawyers want the rank of QC then costs lawyers have to be qualified in all areas of the law first. That path is open to everyone. There must be no shortcuts.

  3. But would you want Bacon Q.C Morgan QC et al to represent you on milti billion pound fraud or a catastrophic brain damage case when they have mainly gone down the costs route….would be intersting to know what percentage of their practice has been outside the costs arena

  4. The original post was about Alex Hutton and Andrew Post. Using those two as an example, I’d be more than happy for them to represent me in a catastrophic brain damage case if I was unlucky enough to have one. I think you’ll find both of them have acted in quite a number of such cases.
    As to Mr Bacon and Mr Morgan, again I think both have expertise in other (if related) areas.
    The force of Paul’s point is that the likes of Alex, Andrew and the leading costs juniors have a breadth of general legal training which equips them to act in a range of areas, whether they do so or not. It also equips them to deal with legal issues which might crop up in cases but which are outside the usual ambit of costs law.
    Most (and I emphasise most, not all) costs lawyers do not have that same breadth. That is no bad thing, but it does rule them out of becoming QCs.

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