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The Costs Lawyer Standards Board’s Practising Rules for Costs Layers states:
“With the exception of those who are employees of a Solicitors firm, Costs Lawyer firm, Insurance firm or other alternative business structure on a PAYE basis, a Costs Lawyer shall ensure that:
(a) professional indemnity insurance is in place at all times with minimum cover of £100,000 together with loss of documents cover”
The rules do not appear to define a “Costs Lawyer firm” and, indeed, there is no entity regulation for Costs Lawyers meaning there are no insurance requirements placed on such firms.
Unless I have missed something, this means that although an independent Costs Lawyer or one in a partnership is required to have such insurance to practise, an employed Costs Lawyer is not.
My recollection is that the old Association of Law Costs Draftsmen’s rules required all members to have professional indemnity insurance whether personally or through their employer. That seemed perfectly sensible and workable. Is this not the case now?
Any don’t even get me started on the issue of whether £100,000 cover is a reasonable minimum.