Over the last year (and perhaps even longer) there have been 2 questions that I have been asked over and over again:
- When is the ball out (of a ruck), Sir?
- How much will I get for ……..?
If you are a PI lawyer and you have asked the 2nd question to a costs draftsman, I hope that you have received the correct answer. What is the correct answer I hear you ask?
Well I’ve heard some great answers over the years – all of which have been a figure of money somewhere in the thousands of pounds – probably given by a costs draftsman who is trying to win your business on the back of an easy answer to tempt you to use their services.
In the past I’ve heard answers like:
“You’ll easily get between £6K and £8K profit costs for a NIHL case”
“You should get around £12K for a matter going to Trial”
“For that tripping case lasting 6 years, you’ll get £20k”
I’ll be honest, when I was a PI Lawyer, I asked my costs draftsman the same question and I always received a figure or a range of figures back as an answer. My firm then of course decided to use the costs draftsman who quoted the higher figure. Of course, when it came to settling costs, we never received the figure we were quoted (hmm – there’s an idea – costs drafting mis-selling scandal).
This may not be the correct answer but my response to all those that ask me that question is simply: “I don’t know – I haven’t seen the file.” The reason I give that answer is not to win business but to show my honesty.
I can quite easily give stats out like my average base profit costs in a bill is £11K but in all honesty, without seeing the file, I cannot tell you how much costs you will get. PI Lawyers seem bemused by this statement. Why? (I don’t know the answer to this either)
PI Lawyers, let’s turn the situation around. If your client walked into your office and asked you how much they would get for their injury – what would your answer be? Well, I would hope it would be something like “until we get a medical report and the evidence, I cannot advise you”
To me, this is the very same as costs drafting. Until the draftsman sees the file, goes through it and sees evidence of the time you have spent, they cannot tell you how much you are likely to get.
So, if you want to use an honest, no BS, costs draftsman who is only interested in full transparency from the outset, give me a call (0151 230 8931).
Oh, as to the first question – to all those interested in rugby union – it’s out when it is fully behind the back foot and lifted from the ground.