And just like that, the first six months of 2022 have passed. It seems like only yesterday that we were returning after the Christmas break with the odd new year’s resolution and trying to stay off the chocolate and/or alcohol during January. Now here we are in July, hoping that the British summer hasn’t passed and readying ourselves for the impending school holidays.
The Litigation Department at Paramount has also been moving fast, as we continue to grow. We welcomed Charlene Turner to the team in March, and Helen Spalding is soon to join us too, with both providing an experienced background in legal costs. This growth is as a result of the relationships we have with Solicitor Clients, the recommendations that have been passed on, and the quality of work produced by the team. That is something that we at Paramount are immensely proud of, and we continue to build upon. We are all working differently too, and having a team that is open to change and prepared to embrace these changes, is encouraging and exciting, as we find newer, and hopefully better ways of working to help our Clients.
In the legal costs world, we are seeing the continued development of the Precedent T, as costs budgeting plays a significant part in multi-track cases. If the sums allowed at the CCMC are fair, then I am very much of the opinion that this is a good result for the Receiving Party, as providing you stay within Budget, you will recover all of those costs, providing there is no good reason to depart downwards. The difficulty comes if the Costs Budget is exceeded, and whether there is either a significant development to depart upwards or downwards, or a good reason upon detailed assessment. The former must be rectified promptly, whereas the latter is more for detailed assessment.
The relationship between the Client and former Solicitor is also an area of law that we are seeing develop. These range from various topics including informed consent, success fees, and hourly rates, and we do of course have the appeal in Belsner v Cam on the horizon. This is another area for Solicitors and costs professionals to keep an eye on.
A potential pitfall that is easy to rectify is that of fee remission. Solicitors should do this automatically for each case and make the enquiries with the Client, and therefore see if the Client could benefit from some remission. It is a “win win” situation, as if remission is granted then money is saved, but if it is not, then the Paying Party can clearly see that the correct procedure was followed, and that they will have to pay for the appropriate fee. But do remember that a new application is needed for each Court fee!
By the time this goes to print, we’ll have had our internal review of how 2022 has gone so far, and we will openly discuss what we think worked well, and what possibly needs altering in order to work better. Being open to different views and feedback is important, as times and personnel change, but the one constant remains that we strive to achieve a high quality of work for our Clients. Personally, I think it is really important to work with good people, and to work with a smile on your face, as let’s face it, they are the real things that matter, and time does indeed fly when you are having fun.
This article was written by Tom Brocklebank, Head of the Litigation Department at Paramount Legal Costs, and should you wish to contact him, then you can do here.