Newsletter – April 2021

From the CEO

April was all about data at the CLSB. We published the results of our most recent coronavirus impact survey (more on that under Regulatory News below). We launched two projects to gather data on how individual consumers find and use Costs Lawyers’ services. And we published our report on The Costs Lawyer Profession in 2020, drawing together statistics from your practising certificate applications along with the results of our latest diversity survey. All this data paints a picture of a healthy profession in which opportunities abound.

Our 2020 report tells us that just 4% of the Costs Lawyer profession is aged between 20 and 29 years old, while 28% of the profession is over 50. We are lucky to have a wealth of experience in our ranks, but it is also clear that we need to attract the next generation of Costs Lawyers to secure the future of the profession. Our work on developing a modern, forward-looking competency framework for newly qualifying practitioners is an important step in achieving this.

Many of the profession’s diversity markers are in line with the general population, but others suggest there is an under-representation of certain groups, such as people with a disability and ethnic minorities. It will be important to benchmark how we’re doing against the population of England and Wales, other types of lawyers and professional occupations more widely. We are undertaking a comparative study for this purpose and will publish a summary of our findings over the summer.

The 2020 report also shows that 97% of Costs Lawyers didn’t undertake any pro bono work last year. 2020 was, of course, unique and Covid-19 may have had an impact here. However, we will look at how we can encourage and support Costs Lawyers to use their skills to facilitate access to justice for everyone, regardless of means.

Finally, we were pleased to see that in 2020 97% of respondents considered the CLSB to be an effective regulator. This was up from 92% in 2018 and 95% in 2019. We want to dig deeper, so this year you will have the opportunity to provide more detailed feedback on how we’re doing. If there’s anything you would like to tell us in the meantime then, as always, please get in touch.

Kate Wellington

CEO

Regulatory News