Last updated: March 2022
The COVID-19 pandemic is presenting unprecedented challenges for everyone. This page provides advice for Costs Lawyers in relation to COVID-19, which will be updated as the situation develops.
CLSB staff are working remotely and all of our contact channels remain open.
We are here to support you with any queries you might have on regulatory or ethical issues in the current environment. We can’t give legal or employment advice, but we are available to talk through your concerns and provide guidance on your regulatory obligations.
Impact on the profession
In May 2020 we carried out a survey of Costs Lawyers to assess the impact of coronavirus on their practice, their clients and their ways of working. The results can be found in our coronavirus survey report. The results of our follow-up survey, conducted in early 2021, are available in our second coronavirus survey report.
CPD opportunities during the pandemic
Following the response of Costs Lawyers to our coronavirus impact survey we have put together a list of free or low cost CPD training available.
Whether you are a sole practitioner, business owner, consultant or employee, we want to support you in finding safe ways to provide continuity for your clients.
Your obligation to act in the best interests of your clients does not mean that you should put yourself or your colleagues at risk. However, it does mean that you should keep clients updated about changes to your working arrangements and explain any impact that these changes could have on the service you provide (such as your availability during office hours or your ability to meet agreed deadlines).
HMCTS and the Ministry of Justice have issued guidance for practitioners about attending court during the pandemic. This guidance is being updated regularly and can accessed on the gov.uk website. HMCTS also published a blog in January 2021 drawing together various aspects of the current guidance on court safety.
HMCTS has also put in place arrangements for the use of telephone, video and other technology to continue as many court hearings as possible remotely. Where physical attendance at court is required, you will need to follow the latest guidance on accessing court buildings.
The Association of Costs Lawyers has been providing bespoke advice to the profession about how to approach listed hearings. If you have queries in this regard, or have anecdotal information that might be useful to others, please contact ACL.
Other support services
Our colleagues at LawCare are working hard to ensure that personal support is available to those who need it. Their helpline is open as usual and they are increasing capacity to handle additional demand. As a Costs Lawyer, you can access LawCare’s services free of charge.
LawCare are developing new resources in key areas of concern, such as working from home, managing uncertainty, anxiety and financial pressures. They are also producing free-to-download webinars for lawyers.
You can visit their website for updates and tips on working from home.