News in brief – 05.11.2020

Nicola Garriock passes away

Nicola Garriock died on 3 September at the age of 62, after a long battle with a brain tumour.

Nicola graduated in law from London South Bank University in 1979 and was employed by the Legal Aid Board, as it then was, before practising as a costs draftsman in Godalming. She qualified as an Associate in January 1995 and became a Costs Lawyer in November 2010.

Her practice was predominantly legal aid biased. She was a keen supporter of the Association and was vocal in support of the Legal Aid Group and in the direction of the Association. She was also a tutor on the Association’s training course for a number of years.

Ken Gulati, a client of Nicola’s, said of her: “She was very patient with me as a client and willingly took on troublesome files and sorted these into order. She was during her illness vibrant and very brave. From learning that her condition was terminal, she did not let her illness affect her.”

Nicola lived in Godalming with her husband Peter. Nicola was a keen tennis player and acted each year in her church’s pantomime. She leaves Peter, her children Fraser and Olivia, and a granddaughter.

Nicola had many friends in the Association, and we will greatly miss her.


CLSB approves use of third-party managed accounts

The Costs Lawyer Standards Board has published a new guidance note on handling client money, which outlines the current position and makes it clear that Costs Lawyers can take advantage of third-party managed accounts (TPMAs) to deal with their clients’ money, which they cannot handle directly.

A TPMA is an escrow service. It is an account at a bank or building society in the name of a third party that is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority as a payment institution. They are becoming an increasingly popular solution to dealing with client money, with both the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Council for Licensed Conveyancers encouraging their use.

The regulator has also updated its guidance notes on referral arrangements and referral fees as well as contingency retainers. The latter looks at factors to consider when entering into contingency fee agreements.


CJC launches pre-action protocol review

The Civil Justice Council (CJC) has launched a review of pre-action protocols (PAPs), looking at all aspects, including their purpose, whether they are working effectively in practice and what reforms, if any, are required.

The CJC said it was particularly interested in looking at how PAPs are working for litigants with limited means, the costs associated with PAP compliance, the potential of PAPs in online dispute resolution, and the potential for PAPs to be streamlined.

It is conducting a preliminary survey to obtain feedback and suggestions about what ought to be the focus of the review and the priorities for reform.

To see the preliminary terms of reference and a link to the survey, go to the CJC website.

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Costs News
Published date
05 Nov 2020

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