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Leading costs law specialists join forces to launch new ADR service

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Specialists from two leading South West legal firms have come together to launch a new service which offers clients an alternative approach to resolving expensive and time-consuming costs disputes.

Bristol-based Legal Costs Resolutions’ (LCR) range of services are designed to eliminate issues between disputing parties and help achieve a quicker, more efficient resolution than would be achieved through a traditional detailed assessment.

LCR’s methods for resolving costs disputes - including early neutral evaluation, binding expert determination, facilitation and alternative assessments – help clients avoid detailed bills of costs, and reduce repetitive and generic objections.

The launch of LCR’s new service offering comes amid growing judicial pressure for litigating parties to engage with alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods such as conciliation, mediation and arbitration which remove the need for cases to be dealt with in court.

LCR is the brainchild of managing director Nick Lee and associate Lucy Baldwin from Paragon Costs Solutions, which advises national and international clients – including Top 100 law firms, banks and leading insurance companies - on legal costs disputes.

LCR’s panel also includes two experienced barristers from Guildhall Chambers, James Wibberley, a commercial specialist who has dealt extensively with disputes in the county court, High Court and Court of Appeal, and personal injury claims and costs litigation expert Oliver Moore, who was a solicitor before transferring to the Bar. Both are recommended in Legal 500 and Chambers UK for costs litigation.

Nick, a former president of Bristol Law Society, said: “Legal costs are a consequence of a dispute and should not be the focus of the dispute, but the reality is that such disputes can often be expensive and time-consuming. The modern world requires a modern approach, and increasingly clients are looking for disputes to be resolved in such a way that saves costs and time.

“Costs disputes are led by costs lawyers and specialist costs counsels. LCR merges this expertise and offers a complete suite of ADR services which will either narrow the issues and therefore facilitate settlement, or resolve the dispute entirely.

“Our panel of experts have conducted high value and complex costs litigation in courts and tribunals for many years. We have a wealth of experience in dealing with technical points of law relating to retainers, proportionality, hourly rates and costs management.

“The role of legal costs specialists has arguably never been more important. Our aim is therefore to form close working relationships with our clients and enable all parties involved in a dispute to benefit from a quick and cost-effective resolution.”