The Costs Group at 39 Essex Chambers is recognised for its multi-disciplinary expertise in advising clients on costs and litigation funding, both contentious and non-contentious across all sectors. Our particular advantage is that all of our Counsel practise in other areas too, not just in Costs, so that you can choose a barrister who has experience not just of the costs issues, but of the underlying litigation too, giving a unique perspective on the case.
We advise both receiving and paying parties: whether the underlying clients, practitioners, insurers, litigation funders.
Costs issues arise in every case, both contentious and non-contentious, whether between the parties or between solicitor and client.
Our barristers appear in every Court and Tribunal where costs issues arise. They are instructed where complex technical costs issues need to be argued. We have wide experience at all levels and particularly in appellate work, with frequent appearances in the Court of Appeal and High Court and also in the Supreme Court.
We are able to conduct all manner of detailed assessments, involving arguments arising from high-value commercial litigation and technical challenges to costs recovery, as well as on more everyday issues.
Chambers has particular expertise in high value commercial costs, and for many years has acted in the largest and most high profile costs disputes. Jeremy Morgan QC founded the Costs Group and it is now headed by the retired Senior Costs Judge Peter Hurst.
The use of CFAs and CCFAs has extended beyond claimant personal injury work, and both commercial clients, whether claimants or defendants, and their solicitors, have become alive to the benefits these agreements can bring to other areas. Members of the Costs Group have been involved in drafting and advising on such agreements since the CFA regime came into force in 2000, and we continue to do so after the major changes to the regime in April 2013. We also advise upon the use of DBAs and the difficulties surrounding them. The CPR are the subject of constant revision by the Rules Committee. Part 36 Offers to settle and Part 45 Fixed Costs are prime examples. The Costs Group constantly monitor these changes so as to be able to deal with the novel issues which these changes throw up.
The Costs Group has particular expertise in costs issues arising out of fraudulent injury claims, including fundamental dishonesty as it arises both in the QOCS regime and also in claims where s57 Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 is in play, and committal for contempt of court. Members of the Chambers’ Fraud Group regularly act in cases where these regimes are in issue, and the question is the best way of obtaining, or avoiding an enforceable, costs order, and they have been involved in many of the leading cases in this area.
Third Party Litigation Funding is experiencing rapid growth as, particularly in commercial cases, litigants are increasingly using such funding to enable them to pursue or defend their action. Members of Chambers advise both funders and litigants on funding agreements and the most appropriate method of funding in any particular case.
Group litigation gives rise to difficult issues about what, if any, costs structures should be put in place during the lifetime of the claims. As the litigation evolves, lead issues and lead claims are identified, and others invariably fall by the wayside. Guidance on the most advantageous costs structures is essential, as this can affect dramatically both the parties’ exposure to costs liability and their ability to recover costs. Parties also need to ensure that their own funding and insurance arrangements meet the particular demands of group litigation. We have extensive experience in this complex area, and in the intricacies of detailed assessment of individual and generic costs, where group litigation orders have been made.
A revised Practice Direction—Pre Action Protocols and Conduct was published in April 2015. The new PD emphasises the importance of ADR in its various forms. Members of the Costs Group have wide experience in all forms of ADR both nationally and internationally.
Criminal proceedings have their own highly complex statutory costs regime, which has been subject to much legislative change in recent times, causing controversy in high-profile cases. Members of the group have acted in many cases for the Lord Chancellor and for the CPS. The Costs Group is able to advise and act in criminal costs cases.
The Costs Group, of course, also has considerable experience in dealing with any points that may arise in detailed assessment proceedings, including disputes as to disclosure and arguments about proportionality, hourly rates, apportionment and related issues.
Solicitor-client disputes appear to be growing in number, and the present regime is highly technical. The Costs Group has a great deal of experience in this area, and members will be able to advise and represent either side of what are often very fraught arguments.
 Learn more about Chambers’ Fraud Group here: https://www.39essex.com/practice-area/personal-injury-barristers/fraud/.
A particular feature of 39 Essex Chambers’ Costs Group is that many are also well known for their work elsewhere, in areas of law ranging from commercial and insurance litigation to judicial review, solicitors’ regulation, personal injury and clinical negligence, to construction and arbitration and all forms of ADR.
We have a formidable reputation at every level of seniority with high rankings in both Chambers & Partners and Legal 500.
Alastair Davidson is the Senior Clerk for the Costs & Litigation Funding team and will, along with the clerking team below, be able to help you with any questions.
Call: +44 (0)20 7832 1181
Call: 1977 Silk: 2002
Call: 1998 Silk: 2015