Costs firm consolidation

In January 2017, Litigation Costs Services, one of the country’s most experienced group action costs firms, will join forces with Elite Law Solicitors, the country’s first Lexcel accredited costs practice.

Sue Nash – Costs Lawyer, MD of Litigation Costs Services (LCS) and former ACL chair – will join Elite as Senior Consultant.

LCS was founded in 2002 by Sue and former ACLD founding member Terry Wisdom and practises from offices in High Wycombe.  Whilst it offers the full range of costs services, it is particularly well known for its specialism in group action costs and has worked on over 50 such actions over the last 15 years.

LCS’ clients will transfer to Elite and will benefit from an increased team and the extensive range of services offered by Elite as well as receiving continuity from Sue and the LCS team.

Elite – born out of HM Law Costs Draftsmen – this year became the first costs firm to gain Lexcel accreditation and is rapidly building upon its existing following and reputation

Elite’s Managing Partner, costs specialist and Solicitor James Scozzi, says that “We are delighted to welcome Sue as a key member of our practice.  As one of the country’s most prominent costs lawyers – and a recognised group action specialist – she will add another dimension to our already respected team.  Sue will also play a part in offering costs and budgeting advice and training to our clients”.

For her part Sue is delighted with her new role:  “I have known – and previously worked with – both Steve Howey and John Mistri for some 20 years and have also worked closely with James in the past on a number of projects.  Elite share my commitment to client service and to expanding the role of costs expertise to the benefit of their Solicitor and lay clients.  They are well placed to meet the challenges that are coming for all litigators and I am excited by the opportunity of working with them for many years to come”.

Despite the imminent changes through the expansion of the PI small claims limit and the extension of fixed recoverable costs, Sue remains optimistic about the future for costs practices. “Whilst those firms practising predominantly in costing what the judiciary refer to as ‘low value claims’ will undoubtedly face disruption and the loss of traditional costs drafting work, those individuals and firms who look ‘outside the box’ will find that their skills and experience lend themselves to future areas of work which will become increasingly valuable to solicitor and lay clients alike; legal project management, pricing, WiP valuation, costs ADR and costs auditing are just a few of the areas that spring to mind.

Furthermore, costs budgeting will remain for higher value cases, solicitors will continue to need assistance with the new format bill of costs (particularly in the early years) and in the meantime there will be a long ‘tail’ of traditional bill costs drafting and negotiations work.”

Omnia Legal Software will remain a separate entity and continue to trade from its offices in High Wycombe with Sue remaining as MD.  With a new format ‘electronic’ bill of costs due to become compulsory from October 2017 the role of technology in costs practise is set to become the norm:  

Associate News is provided by Litigation Futures Associates.
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