A short post, to draw attention to a really informative article by HH Judge Simon Brown QC in the New Law Journal. The article, named Costs Control, can be found at the New Law Journal web site. HH Judge Brown offers some thoughts on how litigation lawyers should approach litigation cost estimates and case management in light of the current pilot project on litigation cost management and the anticipated widespread adoption of the practice after April 2013, when the civil litigation reforms are due to come into effect.
After noting that good costs management depends on good project management skills, Judge Brown does indeed suggest that lawyers will have to become more like quantity surveyors in order to assess resources required and estimate the costs of applying them to complete the task at hand efficiently and effectively. He notes that thereafter the litigator in charge of the case (who, by implication, may often not be the same person who has done the initial cost assessment) will need to project manage the case properly for it to be completed within estimated budget.
Judge Brown also gives valuable insight about how he approaches Case Management Conferences (CMC’s) and the key items he has included in his judicial check-list for investigating how cases are being handled. He ends by saying that
The days of putting in a bill at the end of a case based on a multiple of billable hours x by £x per hour and expecting to be paid are over.
The article is well worth the read, and after reading it there can be no doubt that that civil litigation lawyers will need to become proficient legal project managers sooner rather than later.