Last Monday I attended a detailed assessment hearing concerning a bill totalling £93,000. The last offer made by the paying party, based on my advice, was for £27,500. The bill was assessed at £69,000. This proves what a terrible costs lawyer I am and how wholly unrealistic the offers are I put forward.
My opponent was junior costs counsel. This case also proves it is a mug’s game to instruct a costs lawyer to undertake advocacy when much better results would have been secured if my client had instructed costs counsel instead of me.
On Friday I attended another detailed assessment hearing concerning a bill totalling £383,000. The last offer made by the paying party, based on my advice, was for £175,000. The bill was assessed at £155,000. This proves what a brilliant costs lawyer I am, if, perhaps, rather overly cautious, and thus overly generous, when formulating offers.
My opponent was a top costs QC whose brief fee was over six time what I charged my client. This case also proves that my advocacy skills are up there with the top QCs and that instructing specialist costs counsel, rather than a costs lawyer, is a grotesque waste of money.
Monday’s case was before a Deputy District Judge whereas Friday’s case was before a Regional Costs Judge, which may or may not prove anything.
What both cases do prove is the spectacular unpredictability of the assessment process and the difficultly in trying to advise a client.