Association of Costs Lawyers

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Association of Costs Lawyers
Formation1977; 46 years ago (1977)
TypeProfessional association
Headquarters16 Broad Street
Eye, Suffolk, IP23
England and Wales
ServicesCosts litigation
Claire Green
ACL Council
SubsidiariesCosts Lawyer Standards Board
ACL Training
AffiliationsLegal Services Board
General Council of the Bar
Law Society of England and Wales
Formerly called
Association of Law Costs Draftsmen

The Association of Costs Lawyers (ACL) is a professional association that represents costs lawyers in England and Wales. It was originally established in 1977 as the Association of Law Costs Draftsmen,[1][2] but the name was changed in January 2011.

The ACL became an "authorised body" or legal regulator, specifically for law costs draftsmen, on 1 January 2007.[3] As a consequence of Schedule 4 of the Legal Services Act 2007, the ACL was listed as one of a number of authorised bodies regulating the carrying out of reserved legal activities. Specifically, costs lawyers can conduct costs litigation, and can administer oaths, with rights of audience in all courts in England and Wales.[4] Under Practice Direction 46.5 of the Civil Procedure Rules, a Fellow of the ACL (or a law costs draftsman with membership of The Academy of Experts or the Expert Witness Institute) can be retained by a litigant in person as experts on costs.[5]


The ACL is governed by a Council, consisting of a Chairman and seven members, all elected for three year terms.[6]

The Legal Services Act 2007 resulted in the creation of an autonomous regulatory arm, the Costs Lawyer Standards Board, which began operating in October 2011.[7]

The ACL also has an educational arm, ACL Training, which is the only provider of the qualifications needed to become a costs lawyer.[8]


Costs lawyers face several challenges, due in part to their profession being less well known than other types of lawyers such as solicitors and barristers. The ACL has spoken out on several occasions in support of costs lawyers. An example is the lack of recognition by other lawyers,[9] something that was criticised by a judge in October 2018.[10]

Another serious threat comes from the possibility of fixed costs in litigation following the Jackson reforms. This might eliminate the need for costs budgets and cost management conferences, which form the mainstay of the work of costs lawyers.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About the ACL". Association of Costs Lawyers. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  2. ^ Andrew Boon (7 November 2014). The Ethics and Conduct of Lawyers in England and Wales. Hart Publishing. p. 183. ISBN 9781782256090. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  3. ^ "Association of Law Costs Draftsmen Order 2006, (SI 2006/3333)". National Archives. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  4. ^ "Legal Services Act 2007, Schedule 4". National Archives. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  5. ^ "PRACTICE DIRECTION 46 - COSTS SPECIAL CASES". Civil Procedure Rules. Ministry of Justice of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  6. ^ "The ACL Council". Association of Costs Lawyers. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  7. ^ "Who we are". Costs Lawyer Standards Board. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  8. ^ "About". ACL Training. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  9. ^ "Costs lawyers have earned their long-awaited right to litigate, says Sue Nash". Costs News. 9 July 2014. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  10. ^ John Hyde (8 October 2018). "Ignoring costs lawyer earns judicial rebuke in fee dispute". The Law Society Gazette. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  11. ^ Marialuisa Taddia (16 July 2018). "A long haul fight". The Law Society Gazette. Retrieved 10 April 2020.

External links[edit]