Excellence in Costs
Secure Legal Services offer you a range of services designed to fit smoothly into your own practices and procedures. We can deal with each step, from preparing Costs Budgets, drafting Schedules and Bills of Costs to negotiations and the preparation of Points of Dispute, Replies and advocacy at detailed assessment hearings.
Our flexible range of services includes:
- Costs Budgeting
- Consultancy and Training
Secure Legal Services provides a comprehensive ‘cradle to completion’ service to help you recover your costs as quickly as possible and to maximum effect, while our technical excellence and professionalism guarantee consistently high standards for our clients as we strive to exceed expectations.
Companies working with us can expect:
- Strong technical leadership
- Friendly one-to-one, client-focused service
- A dedicated approach drawing upon our sector expertise
- An unrivalled level of quality assurance ensuring service excellence
- Exceptional results that surpass expectations
- Transparent, Industry leading competitive rates
Services we offer our clients include:
We specialise in the area of civil costs recovery therefore you can rest assured that your file is in the hands of someone who is knowledgeable and experienced.
We keep up to date with developments in the field of costs so that you don’t have to.
When we draft your bill we will advise you fully as to any particular areas of weaknesses. We want to ensure that the Bill of Costs before the Court is as accurate as possible whilst ensuring that we have endeavoured to maximise your costs.
We prepare all types of bills, including personal injury, clinical negligence, breach of contract, building and boundary disputes, immigration, judicial Review, Appeals, and Appeals by way of case stated.
We are also experienced in the preparation of bills for Court Martial and Tribunal work. We deal with all of the Courts, from County Court and High Court, to Court of Appeal and House of Lords.
We offer the following services:
- Preparation of informal schedule of costs
- Preparation of Bills of Costs for Detailed Assessment
- Preparation of Statement of Costs for all case management stages and trial
- Preparation of Points of Dispute or Replies thereto
- Provision of advice on Part 47.19 offers
- Negotiation of costs
- Comprehensive “cradle to completion” service
- Attendance at detailed assessment hearings (anywhere in England & Wales)
- We are happy to attend your offices to deal with larger matters or alternatively for additional peace of mind we can arrange for collection of the papers by our courier.
Unlike preparing a bill of costs, the task of preparing a costs budget requires a higher level of skill, expertise and understanding of the case.
At Secure Legal Services we have put together a comprehensive package which provides complete peace of mind to commercial litigators and offers the opportunity to effectively delegate the vast majority of the costs budgeting procedure to us as accomplished costs experts. We believe that communication is key to completing an accurate costs budget and successfully managing future costs.
Secure Legal Service Ltd can work with your firm to help maximise your profit costs. We will:
- Draft a detailed and accurate initial costs budget
- Provide detailed evidenced requests for revision where appropriate
- Provide an advocacy service to support our costs budget
- If necessary attend detailed assessment hearings on your behalf
- Use the expertise of our professionals to save your business time
We will ensure that the very best case is presented and supported, with reviews throughout the litigation to ensure that no opportunity or obligation is overlooked.
The key factor in the scheme is the production of a costs budget; a nine page document containing details of fee earners, counsel, appropriate hourly rates, expert witness costs, other disbursements, contingent costs, court costs and projected trial costs; all of which are cross-referenced and required to be calculated both as a whole and separately in relation to specified areas of litigation and for pre-action costs.
There are, therefore, two immediately obvious and crucial factors in the recovery of your reasonable costs entitlement:
1. Preparation of a comprehensive and accurate initial costs budget
2. Detailed, timely and appropriately evidenced requests for revision where appropriate
There is a third, key element to successful costs budgeting and that is the use of experienced costs advocates. At Secure Legal Services, not only will we liaise with clients to ensure that the most comprehensive and accurate budget is prepared in the first instance, we will also accompany the client to the Case Management Services or any other costs Hearing to support that costs budget and to respond to what are often technical costs issues on their behalf.
We use experienced costs specialists to help your firm every step of the way. All members of our team are accomplished costs specialists; our experience and expertise helps to provide the best possible service for our commercial clients.
Contact us to see how we can help you.
We consider that the service we offer is second to none. We have an extremely knowledgeable and experienced team with unrivalled experience in the art of Costs Budgeting and management, and our fee is an entirely reasonable cost of the action which will normally be recoverable between the parties and be built into the costs budget. As many of these claims will not be subject to the detailed assessment procedure, most funding arrangements will cover the costs should the claim fail, as they fall within the costs of substantive litigation.
As experienced Costs Draftsmen, we make accomplished negotiators.
Coupled with relationships with opponents that go back many years means that more often than not we are able to negotiate good settlements at early stages of the detailed assessment process rather than our clients having to wait for the hearing.
We adopt a tough but realistic approach. We are able to provide an estimate of the time likely to be taken in negotiations, to assist our clients with their budgets and cash flow; which we appreciate is particularly important within the modern practice.
In addition to our negotiation services we can also:
- Draft Part 8 proceedings, if required.
- Draft Points of Dispute and subsequent Replies.
- Follow through to attend detailed assessment hearings.
Collectively, we have over three decades of experience of attending detailed assessment hearings covering all regions throughout England and Wales, giving us considerable expertise and excellent advocacy skills, gained through regular attendance at the SCCO, County Courts and District Registries.
We undertake complex chancery work, including cases where costs run into millions.
Once a detailed assessment hearing date is fixed, we will deal with all matters through to the hearing, including (where appropriate), attempts to negotiate a settlement.
Secure Legal Services manage and mitigate cost exposure in a streamlined yet bespoke fashion, for the benefit of paying parties and compensators.
Accurately valuing a third party claim for costs is crucial. Overvalue a claim and unnecessary legal costs will be paid out. Undervalue a claim and the matter will probably proceed to detailed assessment with no protection being provided by a sensible offer. Our extensive experience of civil costs litigation means we know what the courts are likely to allow. We can advise on an appropriate offer which, if accepted, it will not be too generous. If rejected, it will put the other side at risk. We bring that same expertise to legal costs recovery for Defendants.
We are able to offer you a full negotiating service which, owing to the unrivalled level of our experience and expertise in this sector, and mediation, can reduce your legal costs liability by as much as 45%.
In addition to our negotiation services we can also:
- Draft Points of Dispute
- Draft Part 18 Requests for Further Information
- Advise on technical challenges
- Advise on offers made / received
- Attend upon detailed assessment hearings nationwide
Uniquely, as fully qualified commercial mediators we are also able to organise and lead discussions at round table meetings with the aim of narrowing and often resolving issues and therefore limiting costs.
We hold Professional Indemnity insurance of £5m with Towergate Professional Risks.
In the unlikely event costs can’t be agreed, a detailed assessment hearing is necessary. This is where our experience and knowledge of costs Law really gives you an edge.
Our fee earners are trained advocates and are therefore able to provide the highest quality of representation at court, whether it is a costs application, detailed assessment or costs appeal. We attend assessment hearings throughout England and Wales including the Senior Courts Costs Office.
Because we’ve submitted a realistic assessment of your costs, we’re in a position of strength, and able to robustly defend them. So much so, that we have a proven track record – we invariably win costs of detailed assessment for our clients.
Secure Legal Services prides itself on offering the level of technical expertise usually found only in costs counsel combined with the breadth of service found in traditional costs draftsmen. In exceptional cases, where complex test litigation is involved, we will work in close partnership with costs counsel and can help manage the whole process.
Probate is an area not traditionally associated with costs consultants but one where Secure Legal Services is experiencing rapid growth. We find that clients, when costing their own probate work, frequently underestimate the amount of time they have actually spent on the file. In our experience, we have achieved a higher level of profit than expected by our clients on almost every probate file we have assessed.
As many probate files are very substantial in size and often not ideal to be sent via the postal system, we are able to arrange for them to be collected from your offices at no additional charge.
Our specific services in this area include:
- Preparing schedules of costs.
- Advising on levels of enhancement.
- Preparing detailed narratives and completing remuneration certificates, if requested.
Court of Protection
We receive regular instructions to prepare Bills of Costs for assessment by the Supreme Court Costs Office (SCCO), whether it be in relation to the costs of appointment, annual general management costs or assessment of costs relating to a statutory will application.
We regularly submit bills to the SCCO for assessment and we know what the costs officers are looking for when assessing bills.
We will provide advice where appropriate to ensure that you can maximise your costs recovery.
We undertake instructions in relation to both Short Form bills (profit costs not exceeding £3000) and full bills of costs for detailed assessment.
We will also draft objections to provisional assessments as and when required.
Costs ADRAs fully accredited civil and commercial mediators and member of the Civil Mediation Council, we are firm believers in alternative dispute resolution where appropriate. We are able to organise and lead discussions at round table meetings or via telephone conferencing with the aim of narrowing and resolving complex costs issues, through the effective use of facilitative and principled negotiation techniques therefore limiting costs.
Consultancy & Training
If you want to develop your understanding of costs issues we can offer a comprehensive consultancy and training service, at your offices.
On site consultancy or telephone assistance for basic queries.
Advise on all aspects of quantification and justification of costs.
Assistance in finding After the Event Insurance (ATE) products tailored to litigation.
Seminars and one on one training sessions on cost issues – keeping you up to date in current law case
Bespoke training for all levels of experience
Pricing structure & turnaround: We are able to offer a competitive charging structure due to the size and location of our core business. This frequently means that you are able to transfer your instructions to us making a significant saving on your current Costs Draftsman’s charges. Taken hand in hand with our turnaround period of 5 working days for schedules and 10 working days for Bills of Costs, we believe that use of our negotiation services can significantly assist your cash-flow.
Accomplished results: Through our vast experience, we are able to offer the client results that exceed their expectations and considerably improve their cash-flow.
Free collection & delivery of files: We operate a free collection & delivery service which enables clients to forward instructions to us without the associated concerns which frequently arise in relation to using other methods of delivery. To avail yourselves of this service simply complete our online ‘Courier Collect’ form or call us on 01543 492135.
Up to date: The landscape in the legal costs world is ever-changing. Accordingly, we regularly monitor the changes that affect you and your firm and report new case law as it becomes available offering advices on it’s implication and application. We are dedicated to keeping our client abreast of any changes.