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Our story – The future of legal costs

The future of legal costs

What is the future for legal costs and fees?

The legal world is changing with new firm structures and different ways of charging, so what does this mean for law firms’ fees?

Virtual firms are on the increase and hybrid working has become a normal part of legal life.

Firms are looking to move away from traditional ways of charging, to fixed fee or subscriptions

Clients’ expectations are changing causing increased fee pressures.

The introduction of fixed fees reduced the amount that firms could recover in personal injury cases.

Increased numbers of clients are challenging a law firm’s fees.

Finally when you add the proposed extension to the fixed fee scheme in litigation, it creates increased pressures on lawyer’s fees and a lot of uncertain times ahead.

Starting Chantry Costs Consultants – what we did

We started out providing assistance with costs litigation, in detailed assessment proceedings and the Costs Management process.

Chantry Costs Consultants was established  in 2012 to assist solicitors, businesses, or individuals with the legal costs arising from litigation.

We assisted parties with the detailed assessment process, costs management and anything legal costs or fees related.

There is a complex system of rules and procedures in England and Wales for recovering the legal costs incurred in litigation called the detailed assessment process. We helped the parties in litigation with the recovery of the legal costs.

The usual rule in litigation is that the unsuccessful party pays the legal costs of the successful party.

So, if you are involved in litigation, and have a costs award in your favour, we  help you recover the costs from the opposing party. This includes drafting the legal documents and advising on the level of costs that can be recovered.

If you are unsuccessful in litigation, we can help you  seek to reduce the amount you will have to pay when a costs award is made against you,


Our values

Our consultancy reflects our values and we chose to operate differently.

Having worked for several large legal firms I wanted to take a different approach, to be more client-centred, less restricted by rules and processes.

Every client is different, with individual needs and priorities. I wanted to establish a service with the relationship with the client at its centre.  A firm where the services could be adapted to suit the requirements of the individual clients. Not be restricted by the processes and charging structure.

The business developed  over the last nine years. We undertook work in costs litigation involving a variety of practice areas, including personal injury, medical negligence, property litigation, commercial litigation and housing disrepair matters.

I have enjoyed helping different firms and individuals. Unfortunately, things are about to change.

Changes in costs – the introduction of fixed costs

The government recently announced that they are changing the regulations around legal costs.  The number of cases, where the fees recovered from the losing party are a fixed amount, is increasing. This change will drastically reduce the number of people who require help with the costs of litigation and presents a huge challenge for all legal costs businesses.

Changing our approach and services

In response, we have adapted and pivoted the business and increased the services that we offer. We now work with parties in many areas, both contentious, and non-contentious.

The legal landscape is changing with additional pressures on fees. You can no longer simply do some work and bill your client, without being accountable for how time is spent. So what does this mean for law firms? It means that they also need to change and adapt.

Client’s have higher expectations, they do not want presenting with a surprise bill at the end of the matter, or one that is many times higher than the estimate. In response legal firms are moving to fixed fees, or wanting to give accurate estimates to clients.

The difficulty is that lawyers do not always have the skills and experience needed.

We provide training and consultancy services to help firms optimise their fees and to help firms address some of the difficult questions around pricing. These issues include whether to charge hourly rates or offer fixed fees. We assist firms to give accurate estimates to clients and calculate fixed fees. We support them to ensure that their pricing structures are working efficiently and ensure they are not undercharging. Our experience allows us to analyse work in progress and any time that is written off. This enables firms to understand whether time could be used more productively

Whilst the changes to the regulations have posed challenges to the legal costs industry, we are looking forward to helping clients in different ways.