The Association of Law Costs Draftsmen (ALCD) has said that some law firms are using unqualified cost advisors on cases, potentially increasing the risk of legal action as they do so.
According to the chair of the ALCD, Ian Stairk, the professional body has received numerous reports of law firms instructing unqualified and uninsured cost advisors to draw up cost bills for them.
This can cause major problems for all parties further down the line, as the billed client has every right to sue the law firm – who will pass the claim on to the cost advisor – for compensation over delays or mistakes in the billing.
If the cost advisor has no professional indemnity insurance, the law firm will be forced to make a claim on its own PI insurance. According to Mr Stairk, the cost of these compensation claims could total hundreds of thousands of pounds. He said:
“The ALCD is urging insurers to insist that their law firm clients instruct only costs lawyers who have full PI insurance and whose standards are regulated, to eliminate the risk of a claim being made on the law firm’s PI insurance.”