Some 46% of the 128 lawyers who responded to the Association of Costs Lawyers (ACL) survey in May reported an increase in the number of solicitor/own client challenges, reflecting the growing industry of personal injury clients being encouraged to sue their previous lawyers for deductions made from their damages.
The profession is awaiting the Court of Appeal hearing in Belsner over what constitutes a client’s informed consent to deductions (following Belsner v Cam  EWHC 2755 (QB)).
Some lawyers have criticised this type of work as reflecting poorly on the profession. 52% of costs lawyers said, if the rules were broken, then litigation of this nature was fair enough. However, 31% thought it was giving costs lawyers a bad name.
ACL chair Claire Green said: ‘Costs Lawyers have delivered when their clients needed them most by maximising the proper recovery of costs due to them.’
This article appeared in New Law Journal on 23 June 2021