By taking a practical and strategic approach, Hill Dickinson provides a fully integrated and bespoke costs service. This ranges from preparing bills, dealing with applications, points of dispute and replies to providing advocacy services in all regional courts and the Supreme Court Costs Office.
We also offer management services such as cost auditing and costs training on an ongoing basis. Seminars can be provided to cover subjects that are important to clients’ needs.
With our costs team split between our Liverpool and Sheffield offices we offer a robust, quality service with nationwide coverage of all courts.
What sets Hill Dickinson apart from the crowd:
- Performance levels above industry standards. Our negotiations work records an average current saving for clients of 33% against costs claimed (non PCR).
- Average savings per file of more than £8,000.
- As a service division within Hill Dickinson, we can draw on a huge range of expertise reflecting the full spectrum of work handled by the firm.
- Excellence as standard in terms of the quality of our work. We provide a full costs service to our wide client base, both internally and externally.
- Providing added value through regular costs updates. Enhancing partnerships with clients through the availability of bespoke training and costs seminars.
- Quality costs-driven solutions. We are
keen to discuss innovative and individual funding arrangements with
clients that are value for money and provide certainty.
Recent case studies
Case study 1
A bill for circa £250,000 was presented following a large employer’s liability claim. As a point of principle, 90% of all routine calls were disallowed and Counsel’s success fee was reduced from 100 per cent to 66 per cent. The bill was assessed at £150,000 resulting in a saving of £100,000 for our clients.
Case study 2
Our head of costs, Paul Edwards, recently successfully reduced a total claim for costs of approaching £800,000 to £400,000, with claimant solicitors backing down shortly before a four day detailed assessment hearing was due to commence.
The case was a complex pensions dispute that had run for many years and been appealed to the Court of Appeal, with liability being settled four years before quantum was agreed. In addition to a bill of £630,000 a large claim for interest was sought with claimants seeking it backdated to the date of the liability decision. The bill itself was extremely poorly drafted and included Court of Appeal costs in the middle of a High Court bill meaning additional efforts were required to ensure that Liverpool County Court had jurisdiction to hear the matter.
The bill was robustly challenged with the following main issues:
· the hourly rates claimed were grossly excessive, being £360
per hour for work done in Liverpool in 2001
· that costs of over £30,000 were claimed for a period when legal aid had been suspended
· that in addition to grossly excessive time being claimed totalling 530 hours an extra block of 50 hours of estimated time was added
· there was considerable duplication of expense with the claimant being on her 4th firm of solicitors and 4th costs draftsman by the time the matter was concluded
· solicitor and client expenses during the trial were also claimed including £250 per night hotel bills for the Savoy and Waldorf, expensive evening meals, £60 bottles of wine and beer plus mini bar expenses, bringing the whole bill into disrepute
Detailed Points of Dispute were served and the matter was robustly pursued with defendants preparing fully for the hearing. Matters were also complicated with two of the claimants' solicitors being struck off (one was made bankrupt subsequently) and with SRA intervention. Shortly before hearing the claimant accepted a dramatic reduction in their claim to £400,000, regarded as an excellent result by clients.