Want to rule the costs world? JAC to seek Senior Costs Judge’s successor after 22 years at helm

RCJ: from here the costs world can be your oyster

The appointment process for the new Senior Costs Judge is set to begin next month, with current incumbent Peter Hurst due to retire later this year.

The Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) said the recruitment exercise is likely to start on 3 April for a role that pays £130,875.

Master Hurst has been a costs judge since 1981 and took up his present role in 1992. He will retire on 30 September.

The post is open to solicitors and barristers in England and Wales with five years’ post qualification experience (PQE) and expertise in costs law, as well as existing costs judges and deputy costs judges.

According to the JAC, the Lord Chancellor “expects that candidates for salaried posts will have sufficient directly relevant previous judicial experience. Only in exceptional cases and if the candidate in question has demonstrated the necessary skills in some other significant way should an exception be made”.

This means candidates should have been sitting as a judge in a salaried or fee-paid capacity; for fee-paid judges, this should be for a period of at least two years or 30 sitting days since appointment.

The Senior Costs Judge has the day-to-day management and leadership of the costs judges, deputy costs judges and the Senior Courts Cost Office (SCCO). The most complex and/or high-value cases are assigned to the Senior Costs Judge.

The job description says the Senior Costs Judge will also be required to provide costs advice to judges “often at short notice”, as well as providing support and advice to cost judges and deputy costs judges “to ensure accurate and timely delivery of decisions”.

Also among the duties are sitting as an assessor with the Court of Appeal, when requested, in complex cases and with High Court judges on appeal, and sitting with the designated civil judge on county court appeals, as well as hearing assessments in the Supreme Court and Privy Council.

The Senior Costs Judge will also be expected to play a significant role in helping to implement the changes following the Jackson reforms.

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