In response to your feature ‘Jackson’s civil justice reforms: the verdict is in’, eye-catching judgments on costs budgeting issues since April seem to suggest that the judiciary has responded with glee – and solicitors with dread – to the reforms.
These rulings have confirmed time and again the importance of complying with the new rules to the letter. If firms do not comply with the new rules they will lose money. Yet on the positive side, firms are also finding that the process gives them a granular view of how their spend breaks down over the course of a claim. Some are starting to examine how they can apply ‘budgeting practice’ to other practice areas including non-contentious work. Costs budgeting is not just a useful tool to manage cases; it can also prove valuable in managing the spend and profitability of the wider firm.
I hope the next six-month period will see a more widespread evolution from a focus on compliance to an exploration of the wider benefits of the costs budgeting rules for law firms.
Sue Nash, founder, Litigation Costs Services, High Wycombe