A ‘buoyant’ costs market has prompted a hiring spree at one of the biggest costs firms. 

Just Costs Solicitors, which was granted an ABS licence last year, has expanded its 100-strong team with the addition of 30 solicitors, barristers, costs lawyers and costs drafts personnel, its managing director said today.

Paul Shenton (pictured), a dual-qualified solicitor and barrister who previously set up the national costs team for Eversheds, started the firm in 2006. 

It has offices in Manchester, Chesterfield and London, and a turnover of £5.4m last year.

Shenton said the firm is seeking to expand, opening an office in Leeds and looking at two or three other sites, as well as working on three acquisitions after securing a £1.1m funding package from NatWest.

‘The costs market is buoyant at present and now is the time to kick on and explore the opportunities available to us.  

‘Every aspect of the business is performing well,’ he said. The expected dramatic overnight slump following last April’s implementation of the Jackson reforms has not happened, he said.

This was because personal injury firms had sought to acquire as many cases as they could prior to the implementation of the Jackson reforms.

‘There has been a natural spike, which takes time to work through.’

Shenton predicted the costs market would mirror the PI market and consolidate, resulting in fewer but larger firms as the work becomes more sophisticated and complex.

‘We are taking a leap of faith, but we are confident,’ he said.