With effect from 31 October 2011 the CLSB became the Approved Regulator of Costs Lawyers. The Legal Services Board oversees the work of the CLSB to ensure all regulatory provisions are met under the Legal Services Act 2007 and other prevailing legislation.
The regulatory work of the CLSB includes setting and maintaining:
- The education and training requirements that need to be met before a Trainee Costs Lawyer can apply for a practising certificate as a Costs Lawyer.
- The continuing professional development required of Costs Lawyers.
- The professional conduct of Costs Lawyers when they are practising.
- The disciplinary mechanisms for any Costs Lawyer who might fall short of the professional standard expected of them.
What is a Costs Lawyer?
Costs Lawyers are not to be confused with Law Costs Draftsman/Costs Draftsman.
Costs Lawyers with a current practising certificate are:
- Qualified as a Costs Lawyer.
- Regulated by the CLSB.
- Required to undertake 12 CPD (Continuing Professional Development) points per year.
- Required to have in place a complaints handling procedure.
- Required to have in place a minimum level of professional indemnity insurance.
- Authorised under the Legal Services Act 2007 to undertake the reserved legal activities of:
(i) The exercise of a right audience.
(ii) The conduct of litigation.
(iii) The administration of oaths.
A client unhappy with the service of a Costs Lawyer has the right to refer their complaint to the Legal Ombudsman if the Costs Lawyer does not resolve the matter under their complaints procedure. Matters not resolved under a Costs Lawyers complaints procedure in relation to professional conduct may be referred to the CLSB.
What does a Costs Lawyer do?
A Costs Lawyer is a legal costs expert who undertakes the following legal services:
- Advises on the charging and recovery of legal fees and disbursements.
- Undertakes costs budgeting.
- Prepares a bill of costs for provisional/detailed assessment by the Court.
- Attends Court as an advocate on detailed assessments.
- Drafts points of dispute.
- Arranges and attends Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).
- Undertakes the administration of oaths.