Law Costs Recovery Bad Habits

5 Bad Habits Guaranteed to Reduce Your Legal Costs Recovery Chances

Three weeks ago now, we began sharing Top Costs Recovery Tips from our team on our blog, on LinkedIn and with our e-mailing list. The first Ten Top Costs Tips proved so popular that we published a second blog with 5 More Top Costs Recovery Tips.

The feedback we’ve had has been incredibly positive, with many readers contacting us to say how useful they have found the information we’ve shared.

We’ve decided to make a bit of a change this week and look at some of the bad habits that can actually increase your costs, or at least, leave you at risk of being unable to recover them.

We hope you find them useful and if you do, that you’ll share them with colleagues.

Andrew Polley, Law Costs Draftsman

Andrew Polley
Law Costs Draftsman

Failure to Inform the Client of an Increase in Hourly Rates

“If your hourly rate is revised annually, ensure you send a letter to your Client explaining the changes. When a new fee earner takes over the conduct of a claim, be sure to tell your Client your grade and hourly rate. Failure to do so will restrict the rates that can be recovered.

Sadie Mortlock, Law Costs Draftsman

Sadie Mortlock
Law Costs Draftsman

Incurring Travel Time Which May Not be Recoverable Between the Parties

“Careful consideration should be given with regards to travelling to Claimant and Witness meetings to obtain statements,  as this time can be difficult to recover. If this work is outsourced to agents this can be recovered from the paying party in accordance with Smith Graham v Lord Chancellor’s Dept (1999), thus freeing up time for the conducting fee earner to concentrate on more complex issues involved with the case.

Louie Beamish, Senior Law Costs Draftsman

Louise Beamish
Senior Law Costs Draftsman

Failure to Attempt to Negotiate Agreement of a Precedent H Costs Budget Prior to the CMC

“Failure to attempt to negotiate such an agreement will only generate more work for all parties involved, driving costs up and may result in further reductions being made at any CMC

Lee Ellison, Costs Lawyer, Assistant Manager

Lee Ellison
Costs Lawyer & Assistant Manager

Failure to Advise Your Own Client of Any Success Fee For Which They May Be Liable

“Ensure the client is fully advised when entering into a CFA, to avoid any solicitor / own client disputes at the conclusion of the case.


Peter Jones, Manager, Costs Lawyer

Peter Jones
Costs Lawyer / Manager

Ignoring Assumptions or Figures in Your Costs Budget

“If your opponents are putting you to more work responding to their actions, and the assumptions change, revise your costs budget and submit it to the court for approval, highlighting the reasons for the increase.  Failure to do so could lead to proportionality arguments down the line and of course a possible restriction for each phase pursuant to your last approved budget.

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