Training route to becoming a Costs Lawyer reopens

The Association of Costs Lawyers (ACL) is on the hunt for the next generation of costs professionals after reopening its training scheme for the first time in three years.

It has also made it more straightforward to existing legal professionals to burnish their knowledge of costs with the Costs Lawyer qualification.

There has been a hiatus while the regulator, the Costs Lawyer Standards Board, considered whether to change the training regime, but it now has given the green light for the association’s training arm – ACL Training – to start accepting applications from prospective students who wish to begin the qualification in January 2020.

The course outcomes remain unchanged. Trainees will need to complete two elements in order to qualify as a Costs Lawyer: a Level 6 academic qualification and a three-year period of supervised practice which can be completed before, during or after study of the academic element.

ACL Training delivers the academic element through remote training, supported by face-to-face sessions at different points during the course.

The module running order on the qualification has been re-worked and, for some, the academic element can now be completed in a shorter time span and at a reduced cost. Depending on the qualifications that applicants already hold – such as a qualifying law degree or graduate diploma in law – exemptions are available, potentially cutting the time it takes for a trainee to complete the qualification from three years to 12 months.

The CLSB has updated its website to reflect this and has published the syllabus and exemptions table.

Not only will these changes benefit the next generation of costs professionals – and their employer sponsors – but they can also help other members of the legal profession who wish to improve their knowledge of legal costs. They now have the opportunity to do so in a time frame that may better suit their needs.

Those interested in commencing the course in January 2020 need to fill out the application form. The deadline for applications is 29 November 2019.

ACL chair Claire Green says: “We are extremely pleased to have worked constructively with the CLSB to achieve these changes. There are positive indications of interest in the course, and I hope current and prospective practitioners are encouraged by this development.

“There is so much happening in the world of costs – whether in the substantive law or new ways of working, with the electronic bill taking hold – that this is an excellent time to embark on a career in the field.”

The deadline for applications is 29 November.


For further information, please contact: Kerry Jack, Black Letter Communications

Tel: 020 3567 1208,

Notes to editors:

Association of Costs Lawyers

The Association of Costs Lawyers (ACL) is a membership body representing and promoting the status and interests of Cost Lawyers in England and Wales. Founded in 1977, the Association was granted authorised body status in 2007 and is a front-line regulator, able to authorise its members to undertake the reserved legal activities of litigation and advocacy. In recognition of this new-found status, ACL changed its name from the Association of Law Costs Draftsmen in 2011. Costs Lawyers are regulated by the Costs Lawyer Standards Board.

The term ‘costs draftsman’ denotes an unregulated and unqualified person operating in costs and those who instruct costs draftsmen have no recourse to either the Legal Ombudsman or the Costs Lawyer Standards Board.

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19 Nov 2019

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