Should I Seek Legal Advice from Counsel or a Costs Lawyer?

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Why Obtain Advice From Counsel?

Obtaining legal advice from Counsel can be beneficial as they often hold expertise in a specific area of law, and possess experience in regularly attending Court and presenting submissions.  As such Counsel are often best placed to provide in independent advice as to how your case will be considered in line with up to date common law decisions.

Counsel experience and expertise can vary, and it is important to find Counsel which is most suitable to your case. Costs Counsel are few and far between however, Costs Lawyers are independent and qualified legal representatives that solely specialise in costs issues, and are able to provide advice on costs disputes.


How Can Costs Counsel or a Costs Lawyer Assist?

There are numerous ways in which advice from Counsel or a Costs Lawyer can assist, in relation to costs specifically:

  • Advice on Retainers and Funding – Costs Lawyers can be engaged or instructed at the onset of any case. You are required to have a valid retainer in place between Solicitor and client in order to be able to recover costs at a later date. The client has to agree to the funding options and potential costs which the solicitor may be entitled to recover. Advice from Counsel or a Costs Lawyer for the purpose of funding issues will ensure you have a valid retainer in place that also maximises the potential return for costs.
  • Costs Budgets – Costs Lawyers can prepare and advise upon Costs Budgets.  Commonly issues as to recoverability and the prospects of taking a matter to a Costs & Case Management Conference (as against an offer that may be on the table for a Budget) are often raised. 
  • Points of Dispute and Replies – Whilst a Costs Draftsman is capable of preparing Points of Dispute and Replies, Costs Counsel or a Costs Lawyer can provide legal advice on the merits of the submissions being made within these documents, ensuring the submissions are compliant and made to the best effect. Advice from Counsel or a Costs Lawyer can provide an independent perspective of a costs claim which can strengthen your submissions, and on any changes to case law which can assist your case further.
  • Detailed Assessment – As well as being able to represent you at Detailed Assessment, Costs Lawyers can also look at your costs case and provide advice on the prospects of success of proceeding to assessment as against any offer in settlement on the table. They can assess the costs being claimed and offers proposed between the parties and provide an independent valuation of the claim, and on whether it is commercially effective to proceed to a detailed assessment, or provisional assessment hearing.


How Can ARC Costs Assist?

At ARC Costs we have a team of specialist Costs Draftsman and Costs Lawyers that regularly draft, negotiate and provide independent advice on costs disputes. Our team of Costs Draftsmen is experienced in preparing Costs Budgets, Points of Dispute, Points of Reply, Bills of Costs, Schedules of Costs and more. Where a matter is complex and you are considering obtaining Counsel’s opinion, we strongly recommend you ensure they have sufficient expertise in costs, and if not you should consider obtaining advice from an independent Costs Lawyer.

It is worth nothing that any legal fees incurred in relation to obtaining advice from Counsel or a Costs Lawyer can be recovered from the other party if successful. It is therefore worth contacting ARC Costs to discuss your case further. Contact on of the team on 01204 397302 or by email at

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01204 397302

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