What Is A Costs Draftsman?
And other frequently asked questions.
A law costs draftsman is a specialist lawyer who is responsible for settling the legal costs of a court case. A law costs draftsman’s role is centred on a procedure called the detailed assessment of costs and involves costs relating to all areas of the law. A law costs draftsman can work with every type of legal matter that involves costs.
Similar to a costs draftsman, A costs lawyer is a specialist lawyer who works with all aspects of legal costs and has attained rights to conduct costs litigation and rights of audience. Costs layers work with all aspects of solicitor costs and assist in ensuring clients are correctly charged for their solicitor’s work.
Costs Draftsman and Costs Lawyers perform a number of tasks relating to costs, including:
- Prepare and draft bills and schedules of costs
- Assist with the preparation of costs budgets
- Advise clients on costs budgets prepared by the opposing party
- Draft points of dispute and replies for costs
- Provide guidance on the preparation of claims for costs for legal aid
- Act as a costs mediator or arbitrator in any costs disputes
- Help prepare retainer and fee arrangements between clients and legal advisors
- Offer advice on disputes between solicitors and their clients
Costs in the legal profession are the lawyer’s fees and disbursements of the various parties involved in civil litigation and can include:
- Costs payable between parties where an unsuccessful litigant pays the successful litigant’s costs.
- Solicitor and client costs which are the costs payable by a client to his own solicitor.
- Legal aid costs where a solicitor is representing a publicly funded client.
While both a costs draftsman and a costs lawyer are both specialist lawyers that work with all areas of legal costs, only a cost lawyer has the right to conduct litigation. A cost draftsman has the authority to conduct litigation as a solicitor’s temporary employee during a case.
A costs lawyer is a fully qualified and regulated legal professional who has specialised in legal costs. Costs lawyers and law costs draftsman are the only legal professionals that have a detailed knowledge of and expertise in the field of legal costs.
Majority of solicitors lack the knowledge, experience and time to prepare their own bills and a costs draftsman or costs lawyer is vital to make this process simple as possible. Cost draftsmen will prepare a bill of costs and also help solicitors maximise their recovered legal costs and provide expert advice and guidance.
If you think that you have a complaint against your Costs Draftsman or Costs Lawyer you should first raise it with their own complaints procedure. They then have 8 weeks to resolve any complaints made. If your complaint hasn’t been resolved in 8 weeks then you may refer it to the CLSB (for conduct complaints) or the Legal Ombudsman (for service complaints).