How ARC Costs Assisted in the Recovery of Grenfell Inquiry Costs

 

 

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Since 2020, ARC Costs has been assisting in the recovery of legal costs relating to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry for a firm participating on the Inquiry panel. On average, we were successful in recovering 80%+ of the legal costs billed to the Inquiry fund.

 

The Grenfell Tower Inquiry

The Grenfell Tower Inquiry was a public Inquiry established by the UK government in June 2017 to examine the circumstances surrounding the fire. The Grenfell Tower fire occurred on 14 June 2017, in the Grenfell Tower, a 24-story residential building in The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, resulting in the deaths of 72 people and injuring 70 others.

The Inquiry, led by retired judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick, has been tasked with examining the events leading up to the fire, the response of the emergency services, and the design, construction, and management of the building. It has also been charged with making recommendations to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

The Inquiry has heard evidence from a wide range of witnesses, including firefighters, residents of Grenfell Tower, building industry experts, and government officials. It has also examined documents, plans, and other evidence related to the construction and management of the building.

The Inquiry has been divided into two phases. The Phase 1 Report, which concluded in December 2018, focused on the events leading up to and including the night of the fire. The Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 2, which began in January 2020 and concluded in December 2020, examined the design, construction, and management of the building.

In its final report, the Inquiry made a series of recommendations, including changes to building regulations and the creation of a new oversight body to ensure that high-rise buildings are designed, constructed, and managed safely to ensure fire safety. The report also criticised the London Fire Brigade’s response to the fire and recommended changes to the way firefighters are trained and equipped to deal with high-rise fires.

The findings of the Inquiry have been widely discussed and debated, with many calling for urgent action to implement its recommendations and ensure that similar tragedies do not occur in the future.

Civil proceedings remain in motion following a significant proportion of the Inquiry work having now been completed, likely leading to any culpable parties paying significant sums in damages and costs to the victims of Grenfell.

 

Grenfell Inquiry Solicitors

Solicitors played a crucial role in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, representing the interests of the individuals and organisations involved in the Inquiry. This included survivors, bereaved families, and those who were injured in the fire, as well as companies and organisations involved in the design, construction, and management of the building.

The role of solicitors included assisting their clients in preparing statements and evidence to present to the Inquiry, providing legal advice, and making representations to the Inquiry on their clients’ behalf. Solicitors also helped their clients understand the Inquiry process, including the role of the Inquiry and the procedures that would be followed.

During the Inquiry, solicitors cross-examined witnesses and examined swathes of evidence in relation to the building design, in order to make submissions and recommendations to the Inquiry on behalf of their clients. They worked with other legal representatives, such as barristers, to present their clients’ cases effectively.

Solicitors also played an important role in ensuring that their clients’ voices were heard and that their interests were represented in the inquiry. They helped to hold those responsible for the fire and its aftermath accountable and contributed to the inquiry’s efforts to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

 

Grenfell Inquiry costs

Substantial legal costs were incurred throughout the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. These costs included Solicitor’s profit costs incurred on an hourly rates basis, which had to be quantified, court fees, expert witness fees and other types of disbursements.  Each month, ARC Costs was tasked with amalgamating the data of a large team of legal representatives, and submitting this to the Inquiry.

An inquiry fund was established to provide financial support to bereaved families, survivors, and residents of the tower. The fund was set up by the government and was intended to cover the costs of legal representation, travel and accommodation expenses, and other costs associated with participation in the Inquiry.

In addition to the Inquiry costs, there is ongoing separate civil litigation proceeding in conjunction (though not funded by the Inquiry fund).  This will likely lead to significant legal costs being paid by the culpable parties, for the horrifying events that took place at Grenfell.

 

How ARC Costs Assisted in the Recovery of Legal Costs

ARC Costs assisted a firm on the Inquiry panel to recover their legal costs from the Inquiry fund. Throughout the Inquiry, we assisted by providing monthly submissions for costs to the fund, similar to submitting a monthly bill of costs, albeit in a bespoke Excel format. Costs were assessed in a manner akin to a standard basis assessment, using inter-partes (albeit commercial and below guideline) rates.  Guidance in respect of the Inquiries Act 2005, and the Grenfell Tower Protocol relating to Legal Representation at Public Expense.

We ensured all costs listed within the submissions were proportionate and reasonable, and typically these led to recoveries of legal costs as high as 90%.

 

How ARC Costs can Assist your Firm

ARC Costs provide a unique digital-focussed service, with extensive experience in legal costs dispute resolution and litigation. We are a bespoke team of Costs Draftsmen, Costs Lawyers, and technology experts not found elsewhere, with a high rate of client satisfaction.

We assist in the recovery and negotiation of costs in all types of cases, including inquiry costs, inter partes costs cases, and publicly funded legal aid costs cases.

As independent experts, we can assist in either Paying or Receiving Party work.

For Receiving Parties, we regularly assist in the preparation of costs budgets, bills of costs and replies to points of dispute.

If you are a Paying Party wishing to contest a Bill of Costs, we can help in the preparation of your Points of Dispute. Our Costs Lawyers and specialist Solicitors can also provide advocacy services and representation at detailed assessment hearings.

We can be contacted by email at info@arccosts.co.uk, or by telephone on 01204 397302. For more information and legal advice on legal costs and cost law services, please find out more about our speciality areas of expertise and our services on our legal costs page.

 

 

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