How to become a Costs Lawyer

Qualification requirements

In order to qualify as a Costs Lawyer, you must:

  • have successfully completed the Costs Lawyer Qualification; and
  • have completed, or be currently undertaking, two years of Qualifying Experience.

The Costs Lawyer Qualification is a course of study in costs law and practice, delivered by a training provider that is accredited by the CLSB. You might be eligible for exemptions from certain aspects of the Costs Lawyer Qualification if you have completed relevant prior learning, such as a law degree or a professional training course.

Qualifying Experience is work undertaken in costs law and practice for a period of two years under the supervision of a suitably qualified person. This can be carried out before, during or after studying for the Costs Lawyer Qualification, subject to certain conditions.

The purpose of the Costs Lawyer Qualification as well as the period of Qualifying Experience is to ensure that trainees develop – and can demonstrate – the competencies (knowledge and skills) required of a newly qualified Costs Lawyer. These competencies are set out in the Costs Lawyer Competency Statement.

The full set of requirements for qualifying as a Costs Lawyer can be found in the CLSB’s Training Rules.

When you qualify, you can apply to the CLSB for a practising certificate. This will allow you to carry out reserved legal activities and have your name included in the Register of Costs Lawyers.

The CLSB’s role

The CLSB doesn’t deliver the Costs Lawyer Qualification directly to students. Instead, we accredit established study providers to deliver the course. The current accredited study provider is ACL Training Ltd.

The CLSB establishes requirements for accredited study providers, including assessment outcomes for the Costs Lawyer Qualification, through the Accredited Study Provider Scheme Handbook.

You can find out more about the Costs Lawyer Qualification, including how to apply, entry requirements, and course information on the ACL Training website.

Qualifying Experience

When you complete your two years of Qualifying Experience, you will need to submit evidence to the CLSB so we can determine whether your experience meets the requirements in the Training Rules. Guidance on Qualifying Experience can be found below (under ‘Resources’) and there is more information in the FAQs at the bottom of this webpage.

Resources

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Training Rules 429.42 KB

15 February 2023

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Competency Statement 390.78 KB

2 February 2022

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Qualifying Experience Guidance 444.41 KB

March 2023

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Qualifying Experience Record 72.31 KB

March 2023

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Qualified Person Statement 60.90 KB

March 2023

    FAQs

    Below are answers to some common questions about Qualifying Experience. If you can’t find the information you need in this section, please contact us.

    Qualifying Experience

    The requirements for Qualifying Experience are found in Training Rule 5.

    Training Rule 5.1 explains that Qualifying Experience is work undertaken in costs law and practice for a period of two years under the supervision of a Qualified Person. During the period of Qualifying Experience, the skills in the Costs Lawyer Competency Statement must be practised at work.

    The purpose of Qualifying Experience is to ensure that all qualifying Costs Lawyers have the support, mentorship and oversight needed to meet the standards in the Competency Statement in a day-to-day working environment.

    Links to the Training Rules and Competency Statement can be found in the Resources section of this webpage.

    The primary requirements for Qualifying Experience can be found in Training Rule 5. You can also read our Guidance Note on Qualifying Experience for more information about how Training Rule 5 applies in practice.

    Links to the Training Rules and Guidance Note on Qualifying Experience can be found in the Resources section of this webpage.

    The CLSB is responsible for supervising compliance with the Training Rules. It is therefore the CLSB that will determine whether you have completed a period of Qualifying Experience in line with the Training Rules, based on the evidence you provide.

    More information about our processes for assessing Qualifying Experience can be found in our Guidance Note on Qualifying Experience, available in the Resources section of this webpage.

    Supervision arrangements

    During your period of Qualifying Experience, you must work under the supervision of a Qualified Person. A Qualified Person is defined in Training Rule 5.3 as:

    • a Costs Lawyer; or
    • another person who is authorised under the Legal Services Act 2007 to carry out the reserved legal activities of (at least) exercising a right of audience, conducting litigation and administering oaths.

    This is likely to include barristers, solicitors and trademark/patent attorneys, since all these lawyers have the right to carry out the reserved legal activities listed above. CILEx lawyers may also have these rights, depending on their pathway to qualification. If you intend to be supervised by a CILEx lawyer, please check their individual regulatory authorisations in advance. If you need help with this, please contact us.

    You should also make sure that your supervisor has a valid practising certificate for the full period of supervision. We might need to ask them for a copy of their practising certificate if we can’t verify their authorisation from public sources.

    Training Rule 5.8 provides that in order to work under the supervision of a Qualified Person:

    • the Qualified Person must have oversight of your work on at least a monthly basis and provide feedback to you on that work;
    • the Qualified Person must be notified of any complaints made about your conduct and support you to handle such complaints appropriately;
    • the Qualified Person must confirm the accuracy of the evidence provided to the CLSB by you to demonstrate that Qualifying Experience has been carried out.

    There are lots of different arrangements you could put in place to ensure that your supervision meets these requirements. Your individual arrangements might depend on factors such as your level of workplace experience and confidence, the size and structure of your organisation or team, and whether you and your supervisor work remotely or part-time.

    When you start your Qualifying Experience or when you get a new supervisor, you should agree arrangements for your supervision that are convenient for you both while meeting the requirements above. Your supervisor will be asked to describe these arrangements in their Qualified Person Statement (see the FAQ below on ‘What evidence do I need from my supervisor?’).

    If you would like comfort or advice on whether your proposed supervision arrangements meet the requirements, please contact us.

    Your supervisor will need to complete a Qualified Person Statement, verifying the details of your Qualifying Experience. If you have multiple supervisors during your period of Qualifying Experience, you will need to obtain a Qualified Person Statement from each of them.

    The template Qualified Person Statement is available in the Resources section of this webpage. It has instructions on the first page that explain how to complete the document. Your supervisor will need to provide information about their status as a Qualified Person, review and verify your Qualifying Experience Record, provide details of your supervision arrangements, answer questions about your competency and make a declaration.

    We might need to ask follow-up questions or validate information by asking your supervisor for copies of documents. Whether this is necessary will depend on the information provided in the Statement.

    No. The CLSB makes this assessment based on a variety of information sources, such as:

    • your successful completion of the Costs Lawyer Qualification;
    • any disclosures you make to us;
    • evidence of your Qualifying Experience, including from your supervisor.

    Your supervisor will need to complete a Qualified Person Statement, verifying the details of your Qualifying Experience. This will require your supervisor to answer questions about any complaints made against you during the period of supervision and to indicate whether they have any concerns about your competency.

    However, the supervisor is not required to confirm that you are competent to practise, nor are they asked to make judgements about your suitability to be a Costs Lawyer. Rather, the supervisor is asked to provide information that will help the CLSB understand and address any issues that arose during your Qualifying Experience.

    Yes. Training Rule 5.7 provides that Qualifying Experience may be undertaken in multiple organisations or under the supervision of multiple Qualified Persons, so long as each Qualified Person meets the criteria in Training Rule 5.8 during the period in which they are providing supervision. 

    This means that all of your Qualifying Experience needs to be carried out under the supervision of a Qualified Person, but you can have as many different supervisors as you like during the period. You might need to change supervisors if, for example, you change jobs, your supervisor leaves your organisation or takes extended leave, or you change teams internally.

    Please keep in mind that all your supervisors will need to complete a Qualified Person Statement in relation to your Qualifying Experience. It is good practice to ask them to complete this document at the end of their supervision period – rather than waiting until the end of your two years of Qualifying Experience – in case you can’t contact them later on or they haven’t kept good records.

    The template Qualified Person Statement is available in the Resources section of this webpage.

    In the Qualified Person Statement, your supervisor will need to confirm that they have reviewed your Qualifying Experience Record and that it is accurate in relation to their period of supervision. If you change supervisors partway through your Qualifying Experience – from Supervisor A to Supervisor B – then your Qualifying Experience Record will be only partially complete when Supervisor A reviews it for accuracy. This is ok. At this stage, you just need to ensure that your Qualifying Experience Record is up-to-date and accurate in relation to Supervisor A’s period of supervision.

    If you need to make changes later that relate to Supervisor A’s period of supervision, you will need to ask Supervisor A to review the document again.

    If you change jobs you should make sure that all your supervisors from the organisation you’re leaving have completed and signed a Qualified Person Statement.

    Remember to take with you (to the extent permitted by your employment contract) any evidence you might need to verify the period of Qualifying Experience you carried out at the organisation.  

    The period between leaving your old job and starting a new one will not count towards your Qualifying Experience, unless it forms part of your usual annual leave entitlement.  

    Training Rule 5.8(c) provides that, in order to work under the supervision of a Qualified Person, the Qualified Person must work in the same organisation as you, unless there is no such Qualified Person available (for example, where you are a sole practitioner) in which case a Qualified Person working in another organisation may provide supervision.

    This means that sole practitioners may be supervised by someone working in another organisation. If you would like to be supervised by a Costs Lawyer in another organisation, the Association of Costs Lawyers may be able to help you find a practitioner who is willing to take on this role.

    Please be aware that any such supervisor will be responsible for your supervision only from the perspective of being a Qualified Person for the purpose of the Training Rules. They will not take on the legal or regulatory responsibility for your sole practice; that responsibility remains with you.

    You will need to make sure that the supervision arrangements you put in place with the Qualified Person meet the requirements in the Training Rules (see the FAQ above on ‘What does my supervisor need to do in order to supervise my Qualifying Experience?’). This means you will need to – at least – be in touch with the Qualified Person on a monthly basis (for example via a call or email) so they can provide oversight and feedback on your work, and you will need to notify the Qualified Person of any complaints made about your conduct so they can support you to handle such complaints.

    We encourage anyone who intends to be supervised by someone outside their organisation to check their proposed supervision arrangements with us in advance by contacting us

    Given that some Costs Lawyers undertake the Costs Lawyer Qualification after having worked in costs or another part of the legal profession for many years, we appreciate that you might already be a manager, partner or business owner when undertaking your Qualifying Experience.

    There is no requirement for the person supervising your Qualifying Experience to be senior to you in terms of position or role title, so long as they meet the criteria for being a Qualified Person set out in Training Rule 5.3.

    If there are no qualified lawyers in your organisation – such that there is no Qualified Person available to supervise your Qualifying Experience internally – you can be supervised by someone from outside your organisation. See the FAQ above on ‘What if I am a sole practitioner?’ for advice on being supervised by someone outside your organisation.  

    What counts as Qualifying Experience

    Training Rule 5.1 provides that Qualifying Experience is work undertaken in costs law and practice. Training Rule 5.6 goes on to provide that Qualifying Experience may be carried out under any role description or title, so long as the work undertaken relates primarily to costs law and practice and allows for the skills in the Competency Statement to be practised.

    This description is broad and covers many types of work, including contentious and non-contentious advice, advocacy, costs management, pro bono work and legal aid work relating to costs.

    It also includes the administrative and regulatory aspects of costs work – such as time spent on client care, billing and training – as well as time spent managing a costs practice or managing other (regulated or unregulated) costs advisers.

    If you are unsure about whether the work you do is “in costs law and practice”, you can contact us for advice.

    Remember that, during your period of Qualifying Experience, all the skills in the Competency Statement must be practised. You will need to demonstrate that you have met this requirement in your Qualifying Experience Record. You will therefore need to make sure that, whatever your work involves, it is sufficiently varied to allow you to practise all the relevant skills. Most organisations will offer this level of variety but, if not, you could consider undertaking pro bono work or a short secondment to gain the experience needed.

    Training Rule 5.6 provides that Qualifying Experience may be carried out in any organisation, under any role description or title, so long as the work undertaken relates primarily to costs law and practice and allows for the skills in the Competency Statement to be practised. You might gain Qualifying Experience by working, for example:

    • as a paralegal;
    • as a costs draftsman;
    • as a solicitor, barrister or chartered legal executive;
    • as a Costs Lawyer (after completing the Costs Lawyer Qualification);
    • in a firm of Costs Lawyers;
    • in a solicitors’ firm;
    • as a sole practitioner;
    • in-house in a business, charity or public body.

    If you are a sole practitioner or work in an organisation where there is no Qualified Person to supervise you, you can make arrangements for a Qualified Person outside your organisation to be your supervisor. See the FAQs above on ‘What if I am a sole practitioner?’ and ‘What if I am the most experienced lawyer in my organisation?’ for more information.

    Yes. Training Rule 5.5 provides that two years of Qualifying Experience means two years of full-time work experience, or equivalent. Part-time work will count toward Qualifying Experience on a pro rata basis. For example, if you consistently work 2.5 days per week, it would take you four years to gain the requisite Qualifying Experience.

    We appreciate that there are many different flexible working arrangements that Costs Lawyers might benefit from, especially while studying, and it can sometimes be difficult to say whether an arrangement is the equivalent of full-time work. The purpose of Qualifying Experience is to ensure that practitioners have the benefit of two years to practise the skills in the Competency Statement at work with the support, mentorship and oversight needed to meet the standards in the Competency Statement in a day-to-day working environment. We will measure your experience against this description.

    If you would like comfort or advice on the amount of Qualifying Experience you are accruing under your particular working arrangements, please contact us.

    Remember that your supervisor(s) will need to verify the details in your Qualifying Experience Record, including your statement of whether you worked full-time or part-time.

    No. We consider normal periods of annual leave to be part of a full-time work load (calculated on a pro rata basis if you work part-time).

    A normal period of annual leave is at least 28 days, reflecting the minimum statutory entitlement for full-time workers. However, you might also receive additional annual leave entitlements under the terms of your employment. These could include, for example, non-working days during seasonal office closures, one-off exam revision days, or the option to “purchase” additional leave by way of salary sacrifice. So long as these allowances only amount to a few days cumulatively, we would also consider these to be part of a normal annual leave entitlement.

    The next FAQ below provides examples of extended leave, which we would not consider to be part of your normal annual leave.  

    Yes. Periods of extended leave will not count toward your Qualifying Experience. Extended leave includes parental leave, long-term sick leave, long-term study leave, gaps between jobs (where this is not part of your annual leave) and career breaks.

    You will need to tell us about any periods of extended leave in your Qualifying Experience Record.

    Timing of your Qualifying Experience

    You can take breaks. Training Rule 5.7 provides that the period of Qualifying Experience need not be continuous.

    Any breaks will not count toward the required two years of Qualifying Experience. So if, for example, you accrued one year of Qualifying Experience and then worked in a different field for six months (i.e. not in costs law and practice), you would need to attain an additional one year of Qualifying Experience after your break to meet the two year requirement.

    If you already have a conditional practising certificate when you take a break, and the break means you are unlikely to complete your Qualifying Experience in line with the practising condition, please contact us straight away to discuss your situation.

    Yes, depending on when it was gained.

    Training Rule 5.4 provides that the two year period of Qualifying Experience may be carried out while you are working toward completion of the Costs Lawyer Qualification, during the 12 months prior to commencing the Costs Lawyer Qualification and/or after you have completed the Costs Lawyer Qualification.

    This means that any relevant experience gained in the 12 months before starting the Costs Lawyer Qualification will count towards your Qualifying Experience. We will ask you to state in your Qualifying Experience Record when you started the Costs Lawyer Qualification and this may be verified with the training provider.

    Yes. You can apply for a practising certificate as soon as you complete the Costs Lawyer Qualification, even if you haven’t yet completed your Qualifying Experience. This will allow you to be authorised as a Costs Lawyer and carry out reserved legal activities, like conducting litigation and appearing in court.

    When you apply for your first practising certificate, you will need to tell us when you expect to complete your Qualifying Experience. A condition will be placed on your practising certificate requiring you to practise under supervision and to complete your Qualifying Experience by a specified date (which will be based on your intended completion date or another date if appropriate in the individual circumstances).

    See paragraphs 14 to 21 of the Guidance Note on Qualifying Experience, available in the Resources section of this webpage, for more details.

    No. Your Qualifying Experience needs to be recent and relevant, ensuring that you are proactively practising the skills in the Competency Statement while working and are meeting prevailing competency standards. For this reason, experience gained more than 12 months before you started the Costs Lawyer Qualification will not count towards your Qualifying Experience (see the FAQ above on ‘Does experience gained before starting the Costs Lawyer Qualification count towards my Qualifying Experience?’).

    Don’t forget that if you have completed the Costs Lawyer Qualification, but are still finishing your Qualifying Experience, you can apply for a practising certificate (see the FAQ above on ‘Can I apply for a practising certificate before completing my Qualifying Experience?’).

    Evidencing your Qualifying Experience

    You will need to provide completed versions of the following documents:

    • A Qualifying Experience Record, providing examples of how each of the skills in the Competency Statement has been practised during your period of Qualifying Experience.
    • A Qualified Person Statement from each qualified person who has supervised any part of your Qualifying Experience.

    These documents are available in the Resources section of this webpage. We recommend that you have a look at them as early as possible, so you understand what kind of evidence you will need to provide.

    You are also encouraged to populate your Qualifying Experience Record with relevant examples throughout the course of your Qualifying Experience, to ensure all the necessary skills are covered by the end of the period.

    The documents are used by the CLSB in determining whether you have met the requirements for Qualifying Experience, as set out in the Training Rules. You will need to submit them to the CLSB when you have finished your Qualifying Experience and are ready to have it assessed. See the Guidance Note on Qualifying Experience, available in the Resources section of this webpage, for more details on how to do this.

    Yes. In accordance with the Training Rules, during the period of Qualifying Experience the skills in the Costs Lawyer Competency Statement must be practised at work. This covers all the skills.

    For this reason, you will need to provide in your Qualifying Experience Record at least one example of how you have practised each skill. You can provide multiple examples if you want to, so long as all the skills are covered.

    We recognise that, unlike the other skills in the Competency Statement, not everyone will have a role that provides an opportunity to practise advocacy. If you are in this situation, there are a number of options you could consider. These include:

    • Shadowing a Costs Lawyer or other regulated lawyer in your own organisation when they are conducting advocacy
    • Shadowing a Costs Lawyer or other regulated lawyer outside your organisation, such as a barrister instructed by your firm
    • Taking on a pro bono matter that involves advocacy through a law centre such as Law Works (see our Guidance Note on pro bono work for support)

    The key thing we are looking for is that you gain experience of real life advocacy in the workplace, even if you are not addressing a court or tribunal yourself.

    The template Qualifying Experience Record is available in the Resources section of this webpage.

    To give you an idea of the level of detail expected, we have provided a worked example on page 5 of the template Qualifying Experience Record. This is indicative only; please feel free to include additional information or evidence, provide multiple examples, or format your evidence differently.

    Have a look at the skills in the Competency Statement (available in the Resources section of this webpage). The Competency Statement explains why each skill is important and how it helps you do your job competently. It also sets out positive and negative behavioural indicators, designed to help you understand what is expected of you. This will assist you in identifying relevant examples of how you have practised and developed the skills during your Qualifying Experience.    

    The evidence you provide may be subject to checks and audits by the CLSB. The extent of these checks will depend on the nature of the information you provide. Examples of factors that would warrant additional checks include inconsistencies in your or your supervisor’s evidence, notification of risks by your supervisor, inability to verify information from public sources and other indications of non-compliance.

    Checks may be carried out through mechanisms such as requesting further information, contacting third parties to verify information (such as employers or other regulators) or conducting an interview.

    No, not usually. We may invite you to an interview if we need to discuss your Qualifying Experience with you. However, in most cases we will rely on the documentary evidence you provide in determining whether you have met the requirements for Qualifying Experience.   

    Your personal data provided in relation to your Qualifying Experience, as well as the personal data of your supervisor, will be handled in accordance with the CLSB’s Privacy Policy.

    Completing your Qualifying Experience

    The Guidance Note on Qualifying Experience, available in the Resources section of this webpage, explains what to do when you complete your Qualifying Experience.

    If you do not yet have a practising certificate, and you have completed the Costs Lawyer Qualification, you can apply for your first practising certificate using an online form. We will send you a link to this form automatically when ACL Training tells us that you have completed the Costs Lawyer Qualification, or you can request it by contacting us. This form will prompt you to upload your Qualifying Experience Record and Qualified Person Statement(s).

    If you already have a conditional practising certificate, you should apply to have the Qualifying Experience condition removed (see the next FAQ below).

    You will not successfully complete your Qualifying Experience until you can provide evidence that you have practised all the skills in the Competency Statement in the workplace. You should therefore plan your Qualifying Experience so that you are able to practise all the skills during the mandatory two year period. If this is not possible for some reason, your period of Qualifying Experience will be longer than two years and you will need to continue to practise under supervision until your Qualifying Experience is complete.

    In these circumstances, you should state in your application for your first practising certificate the date by which you expect to have practised all the required skills, allowing you to complete your Qualifying Experience. You will then be issued with a conditional practising certificate.

    If you hadn’t completed your two years of Qualifying Experience when you applied for your first practising certificate, you will have been issued with a conditional practising certificate requiring you to practise under supervision and to complete your Qualifying Experience within a specified timeframe. When you complete your Qualifying Experience, you should apply to have this condition removed.

    You can use the online form on our application forms webpage to do this. This form will prompt you to upload your Qualifying Experience Record and Qualified Person Statement(s).

    If you were issued with a conditional practising certificate, then the condition will stipulate a date by which you must complete your Qualifying Experience (see the FAQ above on ‘Can I apply for a practising certificate before completing my Qualifying Experience?’). This date will usually be based on the date when you expect to complete your Qualifying Experience, as indicated by you when you applied for your first practising certificate.

    In some cases you might complete your Qualifying Experience earlier than expected, for example if you increase your working hours during the period. If so, you can apply to have the condition on your practising certificate removed straight away; you don’t need to wait until the completion date stipulated on your conditional practising certificate.

    If you have provided all the required information and your situation is not complex, we will aim to assess your Qualifying Experience within two weeks. It might take longer depending on the nature and extent of the checks and audits that we need to undertake (see the FAQ above on ‘How will you check the evidence that I provide?’). It might also depend on the time that you, your supervisors or other parties take to respond to any requests for further information.

    Please tell us straight away if – at any time and for any reason – you do not expect to be able to fulfil the Qualifying Experience condition on your practising certificate (i.e. if you are concerned you will not complete your Qualifying Experience by the indicated completion date or you can’t practise under supervision). Depending on your circumstances, we may be able to amend or extend the condition.

    We take non-compliance with conditions seriously. If the Qualifying Experience condition has not been complied with – for example, if you have been practising without supervision – then your practising certificate may be revoked or other sanctions may be imposed. See the Practising Rules and Disciplinary Rules and Procedures in the Costs Lawyer Handbook for more details.

    It is always best to contact us to discuss your situation as early as possible, so we can help you avoid non-compliance.

    When we issue you with a conditional practising certificate, we will keep a record of the date by which you need to complete your Qualifying Experience. We will contact you shortly before that date to remind you of your obligations.

    You should apply to have the practising condition removed as soon as possible after you complete your Qualifying Experience. This will be easier if you have collated your documentation as you go along, including by populating your Qualifying Experience Record, rather than leaving it to the end of the period.

    If we don’t receive an application from you within a reasonable time – usually four weeks from the date stipulated in your conditional practising certificate – we will contact you to seek evidence that you have complied with the practising condition. We take non-compliance seriously. You should let us know straight away if you have any concerns about meeting the condition on your practising certificate (see the FAQ above on ‘What should I do if I can’t meet the Qualifying Experience condition on my practising certificate?’).

    We will assess your application, usually within two weeks (see the FAQ above on ‘How long will it take to assess my Qualifying Experience?’).

    If we determine that you have met the requirements for Qualifying Experience and have fulfilled the condition on your practising certificate, we will inform you that the condition has been removed and we will issue you with a new, unconditional practising certificate.

    The condition on your practising certificate will continue to apply until you receive your unconditional practising certificate. You must therefore continue to practise under the supervision of a Qualified Person during this period. We may seek evidence that you have done so.  

    Once you receive your unconditional practising certificate, you can practise without supervision. However, you should always ensure – throughout your career – that you have sufficient support, mentorship and ongoing training to do your job competently.  

    No. The CLSB will not formally determine whether you have met the Qualifying Experience requirements before you have successfully completed the Costs Lawyer Qualification and are ready to apply for a practising certificate.

    However, if you would like comfort or advice about whether your individual experience meets the requirements, we can arrange this (see the next FAQ below).

    Don’t forget that if you have completed the Costs Lawyer Qualification, but have not yet completed your Qualifying Experience, you can still apply for a practising certificate (see the FAQ above on ‘Can I apply for a practising certificate before completing my Qualifying Experience?’).

    Yes. If you would like comfort or advice about whether you have met the Qualifying Experience requirements but you are not ready to apply for a practising certificate, please contact us and we will make arrangements for you.

    If we determine that you have not provided sufficient evidence that your Qualifying Experience meets the requirements in the Training Rules, we will give you feedback on what additional information is required and/or what you need to do to complete your Qualifying Experience successfully.

    Please note, however, that we will treat any dishonesty or misleading statements or omissions in your evidence very seriously, and this could impact your ability to practise as an authorised Costs Lawyer.

    Transitional arrangements

    We want to make sure that no students are disadvantaged by the introduction of the new Training Rules and that our transitional arrangements are fair to everyone.

    If you are undertaking the final year of the Costs Lawyer Qualification in 2023, you can choose whether to have your Qualifying Experience assessed under the new Training Rules (available in the Resources section of this webpage) or under the old Training Rules that applied until February 2023.

    If you choose to have your Qualifying Experience assessed under the old Training Rules, then:

    • The assessment will be carried out by the training provider (ACL Training) instead of the CLSB.
    • You will need three years of Qualifying Experience instead of two years.
    • Experience in costs law and practice obtained before you started the Costs Lawyer Qualification can count toward your Qualifying Experience, even if was undertaken more than 12 months before starting.
    • You will not be able to apply for a practising certificate until you have completed your Qualifying Experience and it has been assessed by ACL Training.

    Whether it is preferable for you to have your Qualifying Experience assessed under the old or new Training Rules may depend on your individual circumstances. For personalised information or advice about having your Qualifying Experience assessed under the old Training Rules, please contact ACL Training at [email protected].

    If you are not undertaking the final year of the Costs Lawyer Qualification in 2023 and are due to complete the Costs Lawyer Qualification in 2024 or later, your Qualifying Experience will be assessed under the new Training Rules.

    If you started the Costs Lawyer Qualification in or before January 2023, and you are not undertaking the final year of the Costs Lawyer Qualification in 2023, but the changes to the regulatory framework mean that you will not be able to complete your Qualifying Experience in the way that you anticipated when you began the course, please contact us or ACL Training to discuss your circumstances as soon as possible.