The Secret Weapon in Legal Disputes: Why Instructing a Costs Lawyer is a Smart Choice

Legal disputes can be complicated and costly, but instructing a costs lawyer can be the secret weapon in achieving a favourable outcome in costs disputes. Costs lawyers, in the same way that solicitors are specialists in their own fields, are specialists in dealing with legal costs.  They can help clients save money, navigate complex costs rules, and ensure that costs claimed are accurate, reasonable and proportionate. In this article, we will explore why instructing a costs lawyer rather than trying to deal with costs issues yourself is a smart choice and how a costs lawyer can be your secret weapon in legal disputes.

What Is a Costs Lawyer?

A costs lawyer is a qualified legal professional who specialises in dealing with all matters relating to legal costs.  This includes drafting costs budgets, dealing with budget discussions, drafting bills of costs, points of dispute and replies to points of dispute, undertaking costs negotiations and attending costs-related hearings.  Costs lawyers can also provide advice and assistance in relation to costs management and budgeting. In the UK, costs lawyers are regulated by the Costs Lawyer Standards Board (CLSB) and must adhere to strict professional standards.

Why Are Costs Lawyers Important?

Costs are a significant factor in legal disputes, and it is important to be accurate when claiming costs from another party to litigation.  A costs lawyer can both assist in making sure that a solicitor is claiming everything which their client is entitled to recover from their opponent in litigation, but (and this is equally important) can prevent a solicitor client from inadvertently trying to claim costs which are not recoverable between the parties.  Serious and significant sanctions can be handed out to solicitors who claim costs which are not recoverable, including - in cases where inaccurate budgets or bills of costs have been signed as accurate - disallowing all costs claimed whether normally recoverable from an opponent or not.

Assessing Costs

Because costs lawyers have an expert understanding of what is and is not recoverable between the parties as well as what is reasonable and proportionate, they can help, when negotiating settlement in costs disputes, in assessing what it is fair and reasonable for the paying party to pay.  Their expertise allows them to recover the maximum for their clients, or, in cases where they are acting for the paying party, to prevent their client from paying costs which are either not recoverable, unreasonable or disproportionate.

Navigating Complex Costs Rules

Legal costs can be complex and subject to a variety of rules and regulations. Costs law, over recent years, has begun to evolve quickly and therefore it is vital that the person dealing with costs disputes is fully appraised of the current law in relation to costs.  Costs lawyers are trained to navigate these rules and changes to the law and ensure that clients are in compliance with them.

Why You Should Instruct a Costs Lawyer

Hiring a costs lawyer can provide a number of benefits, including:

Saving Time and Money

Costs lawyers can help clients save money by undertaking costs work at a lower hourly rate than their solicitor clients would charge, enabling those clients to spend more time working on their cases their own higher hourly rate.  Because of their expertise, they will also recover more costs than their clients would be able to do.


Costs lawyers have extensive knowledge of legal costs and the rules and regulations that govern them. They can provide expert advice on cost budgeting, costs management and costs assessment, ensuring that clients are in compliance with these rules and maximising their chances of a favourable outcome.

Peace of Mind

Knowing that legal costs are being managed by a professional can provide clients with peace of mind. Costs lawyers can ensure that costs claimed are accurate, reasonable and proportionate, thereby minimising the risk of unexpected costs being claimed, and providing clients with a greater sense of control over their budgeted costs.


Legal disputes can be stressful and expensive, but hiring a costs lawyer can provide a secret weapon in achieving a favourable outcome in costs disputes.

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