Costs boutique Masters Legal Costs Services LLP focuses on complex, high-quantum litigation across the breadth of commercial, clinical negligence and personal injury, human rights and media claims. The group is a go-to name for high-profile mandates, with recent highlights including handling the costs recovery relating to the phone hacking scandal and advising on the costs elements of the Meghan Markle privacy case against Associated Newspapers. The firm also benefits from an office in the Cayman Islands, where senior managing partner Philip Daval-Bowden is based. Thomas Spanyol and David Platnauer have been notably active in commercial litigation, Carina Patterson is the key contact for insurance costs disputes, and Rachel Mole has handled a variety of media claims.
Firms in the Spotlight Costs lawyers
Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP
Ronald Fletcher Baker has an established track record of success in even the most complex cases. Litigation and Dispute Resolution has been a focus of the firm since its inception in 1948, and our highly experienced team is widely recognised for its skill in this area. The firm deals with a broad range of commercial …View Profile...
Costs lawyers in London
Masters Legal Costs Services LLP
Other key lawyers:
Thomas Spanyol; David Platnauer; Carina Patterson; Rachel Mole; Nico Myburgh; Natalie Swales; Tony Hale; Samuel Harper; Philip Avis; Ian Walton
Claimant Groups in the Mobile Telephone Hacking Litigation
Meaby & Co Solicitors
Campbells (Grand Cayman)
Sinclairs Offshore (Grand Cayman)
- Acted for the claimant groups in novel and ground-breaking template costs budgeting, costs recovery by detailed assessment and mediation and expert costs advice in contentious phone hacking litigation.
- Acted for Schillings in the preparation of costs budgets, Statements of Costs, drafting costs submissions and ongoing advice in the HRH Duchess of Sussex -v- Associated Newspapers Limited in both the High Court and Court of Appeal.
- Instructed on behalf of the claimants in the heavily contested solicitor and client assessment of costs in excess of £3m arising from very complex worldwide commercial litigation (including various freezing orders) involving sums in the region of £1.5bn.
Praised by clients as being ‘at the forefront of the costs industry’, the team of costs lawyers at serious injury claims firm Bolt Burdon Kemp LLP is singled out as ‘outstanding from top to bottom’. The ‘very knowledgeable, dynamic and strategic’ team is ‘willing to take bold and innovative points and run them all the way’. With notable expertise in personal injury and clinical negligence costs claims, the group also receives instructions arising from professional negligence, commercial litigation and Court of Protection litigation. Group head Sam Hayman is a ‘market-leading costs lawyer’ who is ‘completely on top of the law and procedure and adopts a commercial approach’. Clients also praise senior associate Tom Jenkinson, who, with Hayman, forms ‘a formidable team with a clear passion for pursuing important points’.
Other key lawyers:
Tom Jenkinson; Sarah Holden; Jack Ridgway
‘The Bolt Burdon Kemp cost team are at the forefront of the costs industry. Their enthusiasm to costs individually and as a team is infectious and tops off the advice and results they seem to deliver consistently.’
‘Sam Hayman is one of the most talented costs lawyers I have met. The depth of knowledge that Sam has is unprecedented and he has proven himself time and again with the most complex cases in the highest courts. He is at the leading edge of the costs industry.’
‘Sam Hayman: Market-leading costs lawyer. Strong advocate. Not afraid to run difficult cases to the highest courts.’
‘Tom Jenkinson: Up and coming junior costs lawyer. Effective advocate. Highly knowledgeable on costs. Understands the nuances of the market.’
‘Jack Ridgway: Well respected costs lawyer whose presence in the market has been bolstered by his leadership of the ACL.’
‘BBK’s cost team is very much at the cutting edge of costs law. They are willing to take bold and innovative points and run them all the way.’
‘This practice is outstanding from top to bottom – the various departments liaise with each other seamlessly. I couldn’t have asked for better care.’
‘Bolt Burden Kemp have eminent expertise in personal injury litigation, and can be seen to really care about the reality of the claims for their clients. Costs are critically important for PI claims, and so BBK’s expertise in costs go hand in hand.’
- Acted for a client in a landmark Supreme Court costs case, judgment of which has a significant effect on all personal injury litigation subject to QOCS, restricting a defendant’s ability to recover its costs from claimants who are subject to an adverse costs order.
- Securing over £2m in costs in a long-running child brain injury clinical negligence case.
- Advised a group of clients against a London Borough Council which enacted a compensation scheme for those who had suffered child abuse in its care homes and successfully challenged the fact that the scheme restricted the claimants’ costs to those assessed by a panel, instead of being assessed by court.
Civil and Commercial Costs Lawyers Ltd
The ‘top-notch’ practice at boutique firm Civil and Commercial Costs Lawyers Ltd ‘always provides very detailed advice’ and is ‘knowledgeable, highly efficient and knows exactly what it’s doing’. Under the leadership of the ‘fantastic’ Tom Mason, who is ‘very responsive, commercially minded and has a great demeanour for putting clients at ease’ the group’s work spans a variety of commercial litigation, receiving instructions from a roster of high-profile national and international law firms. Clients also praise the ‘very approachable’ Ben Nethercott, who is ‘creative and pragmatic in equal measure’ and is head of advocacy at the firm.
Other key lawyers:
Ben Nethercott; Anil Virji
‘They are very professional, responsive, and their advice and output is commercial and pragmatic.’
‘The team at Civil and Commercial are always on hand to provide very detailed advice. They are available out of hours if you need them and they understand the urgency of time sensitive matters. I would highly recommended their services to any civil litigator.’
‘Ben Nethercot is very good – creative and pragmatic in equal measure.’
‘Tom Mason is the main contact I use for costs advice and advocacy. He is very responsive, commercially minded and has a great demeanour at putting clients at ease and providing sound and articulate advice that puts the client’s best interests first. He is a great advocate, methodical in his approach and prepares thoroughly.’
‘Top notch commercial litigation costs team. Knowledgeable, highly efficient, know exactly what they are doing.’
‘Tom Mason was excellent. Personable, reliable and expert.’
‘Anil Virji is my first main contact and is an excellent costs lawyer who always makes himself available and offers a first class service.’
‘Ben Nethercott is a very talented costs lawyer who masters all the details but doesn’t lose sight of the big picture. He has always offered excellent advice to my clients, even on challenging cases.’
Bott & Co Solicitors Ltd
Hogan Lovells International LLP
Harcus Parker & Harbour Litigation Funding
- Instructed by the defendant telecommunications provider in relation to three claims brought by the claimant for alleged misuse of confidential information and/or intellectual property used for the management of signals in 3G mobile telecommunications networks.
- Instructed by a firm of solicitors to defend a group action brought by former clients.
While Clarion’s Leeds-based costs team is active in handling the firm’s internal costs work, the majority of the group’s work stems from external instructions from other law firms, acting for a varied roster of national and international players. The practice is highly active in high-value commercial litigation and fields a distinct Court of Protection costs team led by legal director Stephanie Kaye. Andrew McAulay heads up the wider litigation costs practice and excels in detailed assessment proceedings, litigation funding issues and conditional fee arrangements.
Other key lawyers:
Coole Bevis LLP
Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP
Mullis & Peake
Womble Bond Dickinson
The Wilkes Partnership
Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors
Potter Rees Dolan Limited
- Prepared a substantial Court of Protection claim for costs for Anthony Gold Solicitors on an estate worth £23m.
- Settled a substantial claim for costs for Higgs LLP on a seven-figure personal injury claim.
Clyde & Co
Clyde & Co’s dedicated costs team leverages the firm’s wider insurance strength to act for a range of insurer clients on liability claims, clinical negligence and personal injury work, commercial litigation and inquests and inquiries. Chris Burdett leads the London and Guildford teams and excels in matters in the technology, airline and security sectors, and Robert Muttock heads up the casualty costs teams in Manchester and Edinburgh, while Jonathan Shaw leads the wider Manchester costs team. Other key names include qualified costs lawyers Mersedeh Safa in London and Caroline Arlidge in Guildford, and Paul Wainwright, who joined the team as part of the firm’s merger with BLM in 2022 along with Kelly Matthews in Southampton.
Chris Burdett; Robert Muttock; Jonathan Shaw
Other key lawyers:
Mersedeh Safa; Caroline Arlidge; Paul Wainwright; Kelly Matthews
Keoghs LLP’s ‘leading costs team’ is ‘accessible, focused, realistic and quickly able to highlight areas of excess in claimants’ costs’ for its defendant client roster, primarily focusing on insurers. The practice is also singled out by clients as ‘the premier team for historic abuse claims in England and Wales’ and has handled a broad range of work stemming from claims of abuse. Howard Dean leads the department, which fields ‘leading light’ Ben Petrecz, the ‘hugely knowledgeable’ Paul Edwards, and Yvonne Booth, who has ‘first-rate knowledge’.
Other key lawyers:
Ben Petrecz; Paul Edwards; Yvonne Booth
‘The breadth of the teams experiences is pretty unique. Great resources in house. The business has grown considerably and consolidated an excellent reputation.’
‘Keoghs’ costs team is, I think, the premier team for historic abuse claims in England and Wales. Their approach is not just limited to each case but they have a keen sense of strategy and are thought leaders in the field.’
‘Paul Edwards from the costs team is the main individual I work with. Paul is highly knowledgeable and experienced in the area of costs. He commands his own against senior counsel on a regular basis and is highly regarded by all including opponents.’
‘Ben Petrecz is the leading light, A former claimants costs lawyer, he brings keen perspective and focused analysis to any claim and is able quickly to distil it and to target the appropriate areas. An excellent and winsome advocate.’
‘Keoghs are one of the leading costs teams in the country. Results are driven and achieved through hard work, exceptional knowledge of costs law and team work. They are an outstanding firm and are the leaders in this field.’
‘Yvonne Booth’s knowledge of costs law is first rate. She is highly experienced and knowledgeable in this area of law.’
‘Howard Dean leads a very knowledgeable team with the likes of Ben Petrecz. They think matters through and at times outside the box. The team at Keoghs challenge the norm and is proactive which is a benefit in this field of law.’
‘Ben Petrecz is easy to work with, always available and is extremely knowledgeable.’
- Instructed to pursue “Test case” litigation to obtain authority as to the information that must be provided in a bill of costs.
- Instructed by LV to oppose an application for a payment on account of costs where pre-issue part 36 offers had been made in a case where primary liability was admitted.
- Instructed by Enstar to provide proportionality of costs to straightforward but sensitive low-value child abuse claims.
The ‘exceptionally good’ practice at City firm Kingsley Napley LLP is led by the ‘tenacious, technically knowledgeable and very helpful’ Michael Tyler, who is ‘a superb team leader’ and ‘a safe pair of hands’. The group is active across a broad range of proceedings with expertise in acting in reputation management, private client, family and criminal matters for a client base of individuals and entrepreneurs; the team has recently handled the costs aspects of the high-profile Vardy vs Rooney libel trial.
Other key lawyers:
Dale Gibbons; Charlotte Boswell-Tym; Holly Shaw; Daphne Pui Wai
‘The team are efficient and professional and always a pleasure to deal with. Michael Tyler is a popular and talented leader.’
‘Very good technically with a team with broad strengths.’
‘Michael Tyler is pragmatic and wise, he is always happy to help in pressurised situations.’
‘The Kingsley Napley costs team is excellent and provides the highest level of service. It is extremely knowledgeable and very ably led by the head of its team, Michael Tyler.’
‘The team has real insight into litigation and Michael Tyler knows his stuff inside out. They are very close knit and incredibly efficient, turning work round quickly and working hard to do so. They also go above and beyond to be helpful and answer questions. They have a good awareness of strategy. They have become our ‘go-to’ costs team.’
‘Michael Taylor and Holly Shaw are two of the stand our individuals in the team. As a client, I find that Holly is an excellent point of contact and is always available and responsive to queries and deadlines.’
‘Michael Tyler and Dale Gibbons are at the top of their game. Exceptionally responsive, they grasp the bigger picture and make the complex world of costs seem simple.’
‘Michael Tyler – top of his field, knowledgeable and sharp. He has a real passion for his subject area. He’s also very easy to get on with. Charlotte Boswell-Tym – diligent, thorough and hard working.’
Office of Gas and Electricity Markets(OFGEM)
Maples Teesdale Solicitors
Highgate Hill Solicitors
Aquila Advisory Limited
- Advised Ofgem on multiple cases in the Competitions Market over costs recovery and complex costs submissions.
- Advised on the costs aspects of the Vardy v Rooney Litigation.
- Assisted Maples Teasdale LLP with general costs management, as well as supporting with costs recovery.
Under the leadership of ‘second-to-none’ name partner Matthew Harman, Harmans’ ‘hugely talented’ practice ‘really knows its stuff and bends over backwards to help out’. The team is particularly well regarded for its experience in clinical negligence, personal injury, defamation and commercial litigation as well as group actions, and also provides advice on costs budgeting, case management and the preparation of costs statements.
Other key lawyers:
Sara Gould; Mathew Knight; Steve Jones
‘Harmans are a hugely talented and reliable costs drafting legal practice. They are always on top of developments, can adapt work to fit in with the timetable of members of our team and to provide documents that assist in the manner needed.’
‘They are an excellent team of costs lawyers who I have used for many years. They are very experienced and knowledgeable, with a rapid response time and great client care with nothing being too much trouble. They are very good advocates, too.’
‘I work primarily with Matthew Harman. He is second to none and has been my ‘go to’ costs lawyer for many years. His years of experience mean that he not only knows the costs process in great detail but he fully appreciates and understand the tactics and strategies required to ensure a good result.’
‘Harmans are excellent. They really know their stuff and bend over backwards to help you out. They are spot on in terms of planning costs budgets and great at negotiation. They are particularly knowledgeable about group litigation.’
‘We use Sara Gould and Steve Jones regularly because of their experience in our area of law and specialist knowledge about product liability and group litigation. They provide sensible advice and are on top of current issues. Matt Harman is also excellent.’
‘I work closely with Steve Jones who the best costs lawyer I know. He is efficient, easy to work with, gives clear and pragmatic advice and his advocacy is very good.’
They offer a comprehensive service to clients which is excellent and responsive. They offer expert advice on difficult issues.’
‘The team at Harmans are efficient in turnaround work in short order and provide sound commercial advice with the work that they do for us regarding recoverability.’
Horwich Farrelly’s ‘revamped’ team of ‘forward thinkers’ is led by ‘costs star’ Paul McCarthy, who is ‘very strategic and has a good business brain’. The practice provides advice to a client roster of insurers on issues spanning personal injury claims and liability matters; the group also handles costs matters relating to judicial reviews and other forms of commercial litigation.
Other key lawyers:
Ashleigh Beaver; Callum Hugo; Charlotte Whalley
‘A revamped team led by the forward thinking Paul McCarthy.’
‘The team has high-profile costs lawyers with strong reputations throughout the profession. They are known as forward thinkers, looking at how costs software and other innovations can help their clients. They can certainly be described as part of the “next generation” of costs practitioners.’
‘The team at Horwich Farrelly are very approachable and take a collaborative approach to costs which is good to see. Their advice is technically good and their ability to adopt a practical and commercial approach to costs negotiations is refreshing.’
‘Paul McCarthy is very strategic and has a good business brain.’
‘Paul McCarthy is a costs star. He sees problems from a different perspective and is therefore able to find solutions that others overlook. Always calm under pressure and inherently approachable, he easily earns the confidence and trust of those around him.’
‘Paul McCarthy is technically strong, and is available any time of day for assistance. His practical yet commercial approach to costs negotiations is refreshing to see. Paul is also technically very strong and offers practical solutions to get things done, which is valued. Paul will not shy away from a cost argument, whilst at the same time advising as to all eventualities so you are kept fully informed.’
Government Legal Department
Liverpool Victoria Insurance
- Advised an SME in relation to a £24m commercial dispute including costs of over £1.4m.
- Advised a major composite insurer in relation to the costs management of an eight-figure damages claim with budgets exceeding £2.5m.
- Advised EUI Limited in relation to a contested claim for £1.4m in costs arising from an eight-figure personal injury claim.
‘Leading light’ Steven Green heads up the costs management team at Irwin Mitchell, which excels in serious injury and clinical negligence claims, commercial litigation, and family and Court of Protection work. Beyond costs litigation, the group also advises on contractual issues, the preparation of budgets and cost recovery matters. Clients also praise associate David Wright as ‘outstanding’.
Other key lawyers:
‘A market-leading costs team involved in the leading cases which shape the development of costs law. Composed of some of the country’s leading costs advocates – for example, Steven Green. Excellent knowledge of costs law.’
‘The cost team led by David Wright are right on top of all costs developments.’
‘David Wright is an outstanding cost lawyer. His advocacy and preparation in cost budgeting hearings is second to none.’
‘Steven Green. Leading light in the costs world and one of the country’s leading costs advocates. Unrivalled in the market when it comes to reputation and knowledge of the sector. Steeped in costs law.’
‘Steven Green heads up a stellar team of costs professional. The team is at the forefront of test cases intending to lead to clarity in matters of solicitor client retainer issues and fights hard to ensure that the budgeting process leads to a proper understanding of the issues to be funded and that the opponent carries that party party costs burden.’
- Advised over 80 clients in relation to the cost budgeting issues arising from litigation following the terrorist attacks which took place in Tunisia in June 2015.
- Prepared a large and complex Court of Protection Bill of Costs for General Management.
- Pursued a claim for costs for the family of a young child following a successful claim relating to the failure to diagnose meningitis, resulting in a serious brain injury, recovering over 94% of the Bill of Costs as claimed at Detailed Assessment in the Senior Courts Costs Office.
The ‘incredibly professional and helpful’ team at specialist firm KE Costs Lawyers is ‘very good on technical issues and responds in a timely manner with sound advice’. The group handles the full spectrum of costs work and has recently expanded its professional negligence costs practice. Tom Mullin heads up the practice, which also fields Jon Powell, who has ‘outstanding customer services skills’.
Other key lawyers:
Jon Powell; Adam Grant; David Alan Hughes
‘KE Costs Lawyers provide excellent client care and their knowledge of costs matters is second to none. Their bill drafting is of the highest order and their negotiating skills are another strength. They are by far the most impressive costs firm we have instructed.’
‘The practice acts promptly and diligently in response to any requests for assistance. Where costs queries can be time-sensitive, KEC regularly produce a high standard of advice, often against tight timescales.’
‘A very personable yet experienced and knowledgeable legal costs recovery team.’
‘Jon Powell has always been our go to guy and has outstanding customer services skills.’
‘Very good on technical issues, respond in a timely manner with sound advice.’
‘KE Costs as a practice has always been incredibly professional and helpful in business.’
‘Adam Grant is excellent and has dealt with a number of high value clin neg bills for me and he gets the narrative spot on in the bill. His advice on the bill is excellent and he is also very helpful on cost budgets.’
- Instructed in relation to costs matters by accredited lawyers, Scott Moncrief & Associates Ltd, who represent some of the Bereaved, Survivors and Residents (BSR) in the civil claims arising out of the Grenfell Tower Tragedy.
- Instructed in relation to costs matters by alternative business structure client, Escalate Law, in a widely reported termination of retainer case that held greater ramifications within the legal industry.
- Instructed in relation to costs matters by accredited lawyers, Oliver & Co, in a complex, high value, asbestos-related, fatal mesothelioma claim.
Keith Bintley Limited
Fielding ‘consummate professionals with an encyclopaedic knowledge of costs law, fantastic strategic awareness and a very engaging manner’, Keith Bintley Limited’s practice includes the ‘technically gifted’ Keith Bintley and the ‘absolutely brilliant’ John Ivory. The group has notable experience in commercial litigation, insurance mandates, divorce proceedings and contentious trusts and probate work; it is also capable of handling employment matters and professional and clinical negligence work.
Keith Bintley; John Ivory
‘Keith Bintley Limited is unique in that all of its costs lawyers are experienced and considered experts in costs issues.’
‘John Ivory is absolutely brilliant – one of the best costs lawyers the country has. He is very attentive with clients, and very user friendly. He gets on top of the case quickly, and his written work is excellent. He knows everything there is to know about costs, and he leaves no rock unturned. I would never use anyone else.’
‘This is focused niche practice which delivers consistently high levels of service with a deep legal cost knowledge and practical no nonsense approach. I especially rate their hands on approach. They provide tailored legal costs updates to our company on a regular basis and they are always on hand to give impromptu advice.’
‘Keith Bintley is technically gifted.’
‘John Ivory is incredibly responsive and what he doesn’t know about costs budgets and the detailed costs assessment procedure is not worth knowing. He is strategic and commercial in his thinking.’
Mills & Reeve
Farrer & Co
Temple Legal Protection
Francis Wilks & Jones
Mishcon de Reya
- Advised Signature Litigation in relation to a costs dispute emanating from a claim for damages seeking over $260m, including dealing with consequential issues arising from separate judgments on liability and quantum plus detailed input on interest, part 36 offers and conduct arguments.
- Acted for Farrer & Co in a complex claim under the Solicitors Act 1974 is which an aggrieved client successfully reduced the previously instructed solicitors’ costs by a significant margin without recourse to a lengthy and expensive detailed assessment hearing.
- Achieved a very high percentage recovery of costs for Howard Kennedy arising from a property litigation dispute.
Bristol’s Paragon Costs Solutions counts a notable spread of law firms on its client roster and is a key name in the market for high-profile commercial disputes and focuses its efforts around costs management issues and detailed assessment work. Nicholas Lee leads the firm and regularly advocates before the High Courts. Lucy Hodgkins is the key name at associate level.
Other key lawyers:
Shoosmiths LLP’s ‘very knowledgeable and sensible’ costs team, which was established in 2015, works alongside the firm’s serious injury team to handle a range of clinical negligence mandates. The group is also expanding its work into the commercial litigation and real estate fields including advising on property litigation, contentious probate matters and work arising from phone hacking allegations. Principal associate Andy Sinclair leads the practice.
Other key lawyers:
‘Very knowledgeable and sensible team. The team are excellent costs advocates and are very prompt to respond.’
‘Excellent costs drafting service.’
‘I have worked on a number of cases and over several years with Andy Sinclair. He is extremely responsive, quick, knowledgeable, accurate and completely reliable. He is commercially minded and always ready to advise on the more strategic side of costs recovery, as well as having excellent technical knowledge. He is our firm’s go-to for all costs matters.’
‘Andrew Sinclair is at the forefront of costs law. There is nothing that he does not know about costs. He is very pragmatic.’
‘Martin Wright is an incredibly balanced and knowledgeable costs lawyer.’
Mogers Drewett LLP