Before long, costs drafting (by which we include all work connected with the detailed and summary assessment of civil costs) will be subsumed within the wider discipline of costs management. Bills of costs will just be one of many costs management reports within a process that begins with a budget. For now the work arising from costs orders at the end of litigation continues to take up most of our work – work we do very well and at a high level.
We produce bills of costs that are:
We make the best use of the electronic time recording data held on our clients’ practice management systems to build the framework of the bill using Excel, an approach carefully developed and tested since 2009 and now quickly proving to be more efficient.
We led the move towards phase and task categorisation in costs budgeting and costs assessment and are heavily involved in the specification and adoption of new format bills.
Designed to aid analysis
The methods we use to prepare the bills allow fast and informative modelling of variable results using some of Excel’s more advanced features.
In costs assessment we always focus on the wood not the trees, by:
Distilling key issues, the determination of which promotes earlier settlement.
Making written submissions succinct – we have never been part of what Lord Justice Jackson has described as “the points of dispute industry”.
Always promoting a commercial attitude to settlement and staying on top of all the associated costs of the process.
Encouraging ADR in appropriate cases, and being agile in oral argument during negotiations and in contested hearings.