Solicitor Costs - Lazy Representation

This is an example of solicitor costs - lazy representation. At the end of a short trial the judge assessed the Claimant's legal costs to be paid by the Defendant.

The assessment was based upon a schedule of costs put forward by the claimant's solicitor. The schedule broke the costs down between time, showing the hourly rate used, and disbursements.

The hourly rate claimed by the solicitor was reduced and there were a couple of other matters affecting the total amount to be paid. The judge left the barristers on both sides to do the final calculations to work out the total charge. When this had been finished they sent a note of the calculations to the judge and left.

The judge was surprised at the total and checked this before trying to recall both barristers to Court. The Defendant's barrister was already on a train, but the Claimant's barrister returned. The judge asked the barrister to go through the figures.

The figures were wrong and over £3,000 higher (over 25% of the total) than they should have been. The Claimant's barrister had, apparently, made an innocent mistake in the calculation based upon a schedule of costs prepared by his solicitors which just did not add up and, apparently, the Defendant's barrister just accepted the calculation without checking it.