We have only instructed a costs draftsman twice in 2015.
Our litigation rates have been similar to previous years. This did not particularly bother us, however from time to time our in-house costs department
bothers contacts us regarding potential instructions.
Having looked into a number of these files we noticed a common theme:
- The loss of a success fee (as we tend not to charge success fees to clients, save for some of the big ticket insurer work) has removed one of the central items which prevented a settlement;
- Most disputes now come down to time spent on activities and ‘solicitor-client’ costs;
- Band rates are not too difficult to negotiate as a lot of work takes place outside of London;
- All the above means the other side handle the costs in-house to also avoid the costs to their own client of appointing their own draftsman.
We have had 2 claims go to assessment. The first was local and resulted in success. The second is with the SCCO which has a mind blowing 6 month backlog so we will not find out the result for a long time.
This backlog has meant that some defendants have decided to increase their offers to pay out of their current year’s “pot” and avoiding assessment falling into their 2015-2016 figures.
I would be interested to know the trends of other litigators. Are they also finding a decrease?
Over and out.