Timothy Phillips, Law Costs Draftsperson

When a judge, in court, makes an order for “costs, to be assessed”, I prepare a document or spreadsheet called a bill of costs – for a judge to assess.

When the Court of Protection appoints you as a professional deputy, I help you to get paid for all your work:

  • I prepare a bill that breaks down and justifies your costs.
  • I upload the bill to the Senior Courts Costs Office for them to assess.

When someone else has to pay your costs, I help you to recoup as much as possible:

  • I prepare a bill that breaks down and justifies the costs.
  • If the payer serves points of dispute, I prepare a reply, to defend the bill.
  • If the payer offers a compromise, I advise you how much a judge might allow, to help you to decide whether to accept the offer.
  • If the payer does not offer enough, I go to an assessment hearing, to justify the costs.

When you have to pay someone else’s costs, I help you to pay no more than you need to:

  • I prepare points of dispute, to challenge the bill.
  • I advise you how much a judge might allow, so you can offer an appropriate compromise.
  • If the payee does not accept your offer, I go to an assessment hearing, to persuade the judge to reduce the bill.

Currently (Summer 2024) I turn round most work (including budgets, bills, points of dispute and replies) within a fortnight.

About

Timothy Phillips
  • Studied at the University of Wales in Bangor from 1987 to 1990
  • Graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Arts with second class (division 1) honours in applied linguistics in 1990
  • Studied at the College of Law (now the University of Law) in Chester from 1990 to 1992
  • Passed the Common Professional Examination (law conversion course) in 1991
  • Passed the Solicitors’ Final Examination in 1992
  • Worked as a trainee solicitor for David Hughes & Bryan Solicitors (now Breese Gwyndaf Solicitors) in Barmouth (in Gwynedd) from 1992 to 1994
  • Was admitted as a solicitor on 1 November 1994 and still am on the roll of solicitors (non-practising)
  • Worked as a trainee law costs draftsperson for Wigg & Co. (Costs Drafting) Limited in Tunbridge Wells (in Kent) from 1995 to 1996
  • Worked as a law costs draftsperson for Alex Milne Law Costing Services Limited at their offices in York from 1996 to September 2018 (when they closed)
  • Work as a self-employed law costs draftsperson since October 2018
  • Am a member of the Law Society of England and Wales

I have been to 80 assessment hearings – at the Senior Courts Costs Office and other courts all over England and Wales. There, I have argued and heard judges’ decisions and reasons on thousands of points of dispute. This experience helps me to predict judges’ decisions.

Certificate of Timothy Phillips’s admission as a solicitor

Pricing

After I gauge the work involved, I can suggest either a fixed fee or a formula. Here are some examples:

Budget

The sum of

£300

+

0.85% of the total budget

Bill of costs (payable by one party to another)

The sum of

£500

+

5% of your solicitor’s costs (not including counsel’s fees, other disbursements or VAT)

Points of dispute

The sum of

£1,000

+

1.5% of the total bill

I do not charge VAT (as my turnover is below the threshold for registration).

Glossary

  • costs: A client pays costs to their solicitor for legal services – and someone who loses a civil dispute pays costs to reimburse the winner.
  • law costs draftsperson: A law costs draftsperson (or costs draftsman) is a lawyer who specialises in costs.
  • budget: A budget (or costs budget) is a spreadsheet that breaks down the costs of work that a solicitor will or might do.
  • bill of costs: A bill (or bill of costs) is a spreadsheet or document that breaks down the costs of work that a solicitor has done. Here are examples of bills of costs payable by one party to another, as a spreadsheet and as a document, and out of the funds of someone who lacks mental capacity to make decisions.
  • points of dispute: When you receive a bill of costs, you can challenge it – using a document called points of dispute. Here is an example.
  • reply: When you receive points of dispute to your bill of costs, you can respond – using a document called a reply.
  • assessment hearing: When a bill of costs is in dispute, a judge at court decides what to allow – at an assessment hearing.

Contact

Email timothy@phillipscosts.co.uk – and hear back from me (within a few hours, usually)

Phone 07931 944 654

Or write to Timothy Phillips, 1 Catherine Court, York YO10 3DJ