Newsletter – July 2023

Spotlight on… the new Costs Lawyer Professional Qualification

It has been an exciting time to join ACL Training as Head of Education. Joining in January 2023 I found ACL Training at a point of reflection. Recent consultation with the profession, together with changes to the CLSB’s Training Rules had opened opportunities to reshape the Costs Lawyer Qualification. A report commissioned by the CLSB the previous year, on the impact that Costs Lawyers can have in reducing the cost of legal services, highlights that innovation in education and training is paramount in enabling Costs Lawyers to raise the profile of their profession.

The new Costs Lawyer Professional Qualification will launch in September. The course has been created in response to industry feedback and designed to align with practitioner needs. Drawing from industry expertise, the new course blends theory with real world practice and application throughout its delivery. The CLSB’s Competency Statement provides the foundation of learning on which the new course is built, linking the knowledge, skills and competencies that training Costs Lawyers need to demonstrate across the new curriculum. We hope that the course will attract a new generation of Costs Lawyers to practice, enabling them to meet the demands of the evolving legal market.

So, change is afoot. The key information regarding the new qualification is outlined below. This is especially important to note for those with colleagues or peers wishing to qualify as a Costs Lawyer soon, or those wishing to train and attract talent within their business.

  1. The new course takes two years to complete, and less if you are eligible for exemptions.
  2. Changes to CLSB Qualifying Experience requirements mean that students must now demonstrate two years of Qualifying Experience, not three. Qualifying Experience may be undertaken before, during or after their studies on the CLPQ. These changes mean that for the first time, it is technically possible to qualify within two years including the time spent on the qualification.
  3. There will be two intakes per year, one in September and the other in February.
  4. The course is divided into three parts. The Diploma in Civil Litigation forms year 1 and provides a foundation of legal knowledge, which is then built on in the Diploma in Costs Law and Practice during the second year. There is then a separate Award in Costs Advocacy.
  5. The course is delivered online, enabling students to study alongside work and family commitments.
  6. Students will be assessed within two assessment windows per year, in January and June.

Further details of admissions requirements, exemptions and fees can be found on the ACL Training website:

We will be building in further flexibility to the course over the coming year to enable students to attempt the three parts of the course separately, thus removing the requirement to commit to the full two years of the course from the onset. The modules of the course will also in the future be available as micro-credentials, enabling a wider audience of professionals in the legal sector to gain additional professional development in areas relating to costs. We are also exploring how the qualification can form part of an apprenticeship route in the future. We will share news on these things as plans develop.

I am keen to build ACL Training’s relationships with employers across the costs law community. If you would like to discuss any aspect of ACL Training’s activity or discuss sponsoring students onto the new qualification, please get in touch ([email protected]).

It is always both daunting and exciting when you arrive in a new role at such a point of change. Working within the professional body sector has taught me that commitment to education and professional development ensures high professional standards. The result is a virtuous circle between the regulator, the individual and the profession. Through professional development, we ensure the best outcomes for clients and firms, raising trust in the work that we do. Individual and collective engagement with the opportunities the new Training Rules and qualification bring will help to secure the bright future that our profession so richly deserves.

Madeleine Jenness
Head of Education, ACL Training

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