How could Costs Lawyers reduce the costs of legal services?

About the project

The CLSB is embarking on a research project aimed at exploring whether, if regulation or legislation were different, Costs Lawyers could bring about downward pressure on the cost of legal services.

Costs Lawyers are specialist lawyers that deal with all aspects of legal costs. In addition to being skilled lawyers, they are skilled at financial analysis.

Costs Lawyers are regulated by the CLSB. The current legal regulatory framework in the UK is based on professional titles and reserved activities. The Competition and Markets Authority has found that this has the potential to restrict competition unnecessarily or leave a regulatory gap.

We intend to carry out research based on the types of services advisers (regulated or unregulated) specialising in costs might be involved in, such as:

  • finding the right price for legal services before buying;
  • resolving disputes about the price of legal services after buying;
  • obtaining the best advice on controlling costs when that advice is bought via another lawyer.

The main questions we are exploring in each of these areas is:

  1. How might advisers specialising in costs drive services in a way that exerts a downward pressure on the costs of legal services?
  2. Would any regulatory or legislative change relevant to Costs Lawyers remove barriers to capturing this benefit or capture greater benefits?

Progress

The project will run from September 2021 to March 2022. As the project progresses, we will provide updates on key milestones here.

Funding

This project has been made possible by a grant from the £3.7 million Regulators’ Pioneer Fund launched by The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The fund enables UK regulators and local authorities to help create a UK regulatory environment that unleashes innovation and makes the UK the best place to start and grow a business.