The Association of Costs Lawyers recently announced the appointment of its first professional chief executive officer.
The ACL announcement stated:
“He will act as the focal point of the ACL’s campaign, highlighting the importance of solicitors using only fully qualified and regulated costs specialists in the costs management era.”
It is interesting that the broader term “costs specialist” has been used in place of “Costs Lawyer”, perhaps conscious of the fact that other qualified lawyers may work in the area of costs law.
But, the issue that keeps dwelling on my mind is that of “fully qualified”. Fully qualified at what? There are no Costs Lawyers (or any other legal professionals that I know of) who have qualified in the area of costs budgeting/costs management. None of those who qualified as Costs Lawyers would have had any “qualification” in this area as it would not have been incorporated into any of the old ACL training material and would not have formed part of the exam syllabus. It will presumably be incorporated into the new revamped one, with the next intake of students not being until September 2014.
There will no doubt be many costs professionals who will have undergone in-house costs budgeting training and/or attended costs budgeting seminars. The effectiveness of such training in helping to guarantee the budgets produced are accurate remains to be seen.
The first people who undertook modern brain surgery were no doubt already skilled and qualified surgeons, but did they claim to be qualified brain surgeons from day one or simply that they were rather optimistic pioneers with even more optimistic patients?