Paragon Costs has developed a specialist team of Costs Lawyer Advocates who can be instructed to deal with any costs related hearing. These experienced advocates will represent Paragon Costs’ clients where the matter has proceeded to a court hearing, but they are also available for discreet instructions should you just need an advocate or a second opinion ahead of a costs related hearing.
Our most frequent instructions are for costs management hearings, whether alongside Counsel or independently if only costs remain in dispute, and detailed assessments. The impact of costs management to the eventual recovery of costs has prioritised the need for clients to produce and secure an accurate, approved costs budget. Our advocates are pro-active and will engage in costs budget discussions to ensure that the best result is obtained for the client, even if that means reaching a late agreement instead of going before the Judge. This involvement enables our advocates to conduct detailed assessments of budgeted cases effectively and efficiently, whilst the team can still draw on extensive experiences of succeeding at traditional multi-day, pre-2013 detailed assessments.
What we do:
Instructions can be sent to our advocates for any of the following hearings, although they will happily discuss other costs-related advocacy on a case-by-case basis:
- Costs Management Hearings;
- Detailed Assessments;
- Reviews / Appeals of Provisional Assessments;
- Interim Costs Certificate Applications;
- Interim Payment Applications;
- Solicitor-own-client Part 8 Applications & subsequent assessments;
- Part 18 requests within the costs assessment process; and
- Relief from Sanctions applications.
Nick Lee, Managing Director, has worked in legal costs since 2001. In that time he has conducted a wide range of hearings dealing with pre-and-post 2013 costs law issues. Nick's previous instructions have included multi-day detailed assessments in the SCCO for both receiving and paying party; securing million-pound costs budgets for claimants who have suffered life-changing injuries; and dealing with appeals of provisional assessment decisions. The range of Nick's abilities as an advocate can be highlighted by his successful application to obtain an order for the assessment of the entirety of a solicitor’s costs even where his client had paid the solicitor’s invoices and the twelve month limit for challenging these fees had passed. Nick represented the Defendats in one of the first judgements in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court in Bocacina Ltd v Boca Cafes Ltd & Ors  EWHC 26 (IPEC) (20 December 2013) where he reduced his clients’ liability by over 50%..
Richie Rees is a keen advocate who has conducted a range of costs hearings since qualifying as a Costs Lawyer. Examples range from the securing of a six-figure claimant costs budget in a clinical negligence matter which significantly exceeded the pleaded value of the claim, to opposing an interim costs certificate application in a multi-million pound commercial dispute where the client and the client’s insurers had opposing interests in the result.
Courts often have different approaches to dealing with costs issues given the wide discretion set out by the law, and understanding the approach favoured by a particular judge can greatly improve the chances of a successful hearing. Paragon’s advocacy team have extensive experience of the approaches taken by the Masters and Costs Judges in the SCCO and the RCJ in London, as well as both High Court and County Court Judges in the regions, particularly the South West, Gloucester, Wiltshire, Hampshire, Cornwall and Devon.
Our advocates also offer bespoke training on developing issues within legal costs, where their experiences at court will be compared to the emerging case law or changes to the CPR. You may also see them appearing as advocates or judges in Paragon Costs’ mock hearings which provide practical examples of the court’s approach to costs management or costs assessment.