The Association of Costs Lawyers (ACL) has launched an ADR service dedicated to the resolution of costs disputes.  The service, which will initially be limited to mediation, will be provided by a panel of eight mediators, including former Senior Costs Judge Peter Hurst and three costs lawyers.   ACL plans to extend the service to include early neutral evaluation, arbitration and multi-case mediation.

Lower value disputes will be conducted via telephone mediations, involving private calls between the mediator and each party as well as joint teleconferences where appropriate. Higher value disputes (and all solicitor/own client disputes) are more likely to involve face to face mediation. 

The fee structure for the initial mediation service (inclusive of VAT) is:

  • A two hour telephone mediation: £400
  • A three hour mediation in person: £900
  • A full day mediation:  £2500 (for bills up to £250,000), £3500 (for bills up to £500,000) or from £5000 (for bills exceeding £500,000)

Other services planned for the future include mediation observerships (allowing newly qualified mediators or mediators seeking to meet CPD requirements to observe costs mediations), mediation information and assessment meetings, and a telephone conference service hosted by a panel mediator to discuss the suitability of a costs dispute for any of the available ADR services.

For more details, click here.