Costs Lawyer Standards Board

The Costs Lawyer Standards Board has started sending newsletters to costs lawyers updating them as to its work.

Included in the first newsletter was a report on a disciplinary hearing.

This reported that:

“In brief, Costs Lawyer W failed to make required disclosures on their signed Application for Reinstatement and signed Application for a Practising Certificate relating to offences. After robust discussion on the allegations, the evidence before it and after hearing Costs Lawyer W, the Conduct Committee found against Costs Lawyer W on all the alleged code/rule breaches.”

The Costs Lawyer had his practising certificate suspended for two years and was fined. His subsequent appeal failed.

This kind of information is invaluable. Costs Lawyers are entitled to employ non-Costs Lawyers and delegate their own rights, such as rights of audience, to non-Costs Lawyers.

In the event that I receive a job application from somebody called W, I will immediately know they are unsuitable for employment.

Equally, once their two year suspension is over, if a Costs Lawyers called W applies for a job I will be able to make an informed decision as to whether I consider them suitable given their failure to declare their “offences”.

More newsletters with this kind of useful information please.

28 thoughts on “Costs Lawyer Standards Board

  1. I am assuming the magazine did not give details of who this person is, what their offence was etc? Perhaps you could provide a link to the article please?

  2. I think Simon was being ironic and saying there is no point in having disciplinary proceedings if you cannot identify the CL involved. Perhaps the CLSB was being careful in case W decided to appeal further.

    I have received a Diversity Questionnaire from the CLSB asking impertinent questions about my age, gender, ethnic group, religion, socio-economic background and sexual orientation. What has this got to do with costs?

    Why should CLs pay a fee of £250 to the CLSB to fund this politically correct rubbish?

  3. It’s so that ‘costs lawyers’ can appear both morally and professionally superior to mere costs draftsmen or costs negotiators (aka costs muppets).

  4. I would guess that the CLSB have been told to do this by the Legal Services Board, along with the SRA, Bar Council etc all of whom have launched similar surveys in the last few months

  5. @TEC
    in one sentence, you have demonstrated exactly why I have never lowered myself to become a CL, as whereas your comments may (or may not) be tongue in cheek, they are reflective of the attitude of most CLs

  6. @Anonymous – I find the opposite to be true. It is the unqualified and experienced draftsmen that tend to have a chip on their shoulder. Suggesting that you would be somehow lowering yourself if you became a costs lawyer proves my point.

  7. @ Pete B
    i for one would not do the CL course, only to place myself in the same band of people, whom are qualified but have, for example, never even conducted a DA hearing themself.
    if that gives me a “chip” on my shoulder, I’d rather have that and the ability to do the job, rather than a title that does not.

  8. But just think how awesome it would be if you had both the ability to do the job AND the title? So surely you should do it?

  9. That’s the lamest excuse I’ve heard yet. There are a lot of very competent advocates in that band of people you refer to.

  10. Personally, I’ve never seen the point in undertaking an expensive course in which only a small portion of the same has anything to do with civil costs.

    I think chips on the shoulder appear common amongst costs practitioners. Whether or not they’re qualified doesn’t appear to change anything.

  11. The title ‘Costs Lawyer’ is a stupid one anyway – we pay a ransom for the use of a stupid name and a stupid qualification because we sat in a stuffy room for a day and didn’t leave before the certificates were handed out.

  12. We all know that there are good and bad draftsmen/costs lawyers whether “qualified” or not! The problem is that many of the good people in the profession are not recognised for what they are and the bad ones manage to hide behind their own rhetoric!

    I for one have torn up the Equality and Diversity questionnaire, and further I would be interested to know who Costs Lawyer W is, what was the point of the report!

  13. I personally don’t care if a person is a Costs Lawyer or Costs Draftsman, the most important thing is being able to do the job in the round and competently!

    Re the CLSB I am wondering what exactly the purpose is save for Costs Lawyers now having to pay 2 subscriptions!!

  14. Personally as long as the practitioner can do the job in the round and competently I have no problem with them being “qualified” or otherwise!

    Further, I am wondering what the purpose is of the CLSB, we now have to pay 2 sets of subscription for what precisely!?

  15. By “qualified costs lawyers” do we mean people who have never passed an exam, been admitted as fellows on the nod and then sat in a hall for a couple of days (not having passed any assessment at all.)

    Always makes me laugh when I hear these people describe themselves as “qualified.”

  16. Peter B – perhaps if you spent more time getting offers out than writing stupid posts you would just possibly get a little bit of respect!!!!

  17. @ Defendant Lawyer, surely a lot of those must be retired now?, the exam process has been in place for 20 odd years now

  18. That’s why you have to judge a Costs Professional for how they demonstrate themselves to be. But actually in the early days we had to sit an exam, get recommendations from fellow ALCD members and District Judges, so maybe the system today is flawed which is solely based on exam taking.

  19. @anonymous – it seems that all the costs lawyers in their mid thirties upwards – namely the ones who bang on about being ‘qualified’ took this route. If not then they were associates and then got an auto upgrade to fellows; again, no exam or assessment passed.

    Do the public know that when the ACL state that using a costs lawyer means using someone ‘qualified’ that this is not quite true. Yes, they are regulated by the CLSB but calling them qualified when they’ve never passed an exam or been assessed is remarkable.

    I do not understand why the younger ones who have actaully passed exams don’t kick up a stink about this.

  20. Who hasn’t been assessed, exam passed to become an Associate, references from existing ALCD Fellows and references from District Judges who don’t give references easily, to become a Fellow, and then admittedly sat in a room for 2 days to become a Costs Lawyer.

    Anyway, Defendant Lawyer, who is banging on about being qualified, what’s the point, if you can do the job competently what’s the problem!? If you can’t you will soon be rumbled!

  21. I would think there is a technical point to be had on this. Isn’t the requirement for a certificate the completion of an approved course?

  22. Anonymous- Many associates had an automatic upgrade a couple of years ago. No references required (which is frankly laughable anyway- one costs draftsman providing a reference for another!)

    Who is banging on about being qualified? Costs Lawyers, that’s who.

    I simply fear that the public / other parts of the profession have no clue about how many of them attained that lofty status!

  23. You are all forgetting the fundamental point to this article, we can now all play where’s Wally!

    p.s. I took two exams to obtain my costs lawyer T-shirt, and Simon the profession won’t be dead in two years pal.

  24. nothing about the CLSB and the ACL is funny. When I write out my cheques I cry rather than laugh.

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