The head of costs at social justice law firm, Thompsons Solicitors, has been appointed as a member of the Association of Costs Lawyers (ACL).

Julian Caddick joined the social justice law firm in November 2005 and, while based at Thompsons’ London office, leads a team of costs lawyers across the UK. The team is responsible for producing detailed bills of costs, costs budgets and other court documents relating to disputes of legal costs, as well as providing advice for solicitors and clients on funding they can receive.

Mr Caddick sees his appointment to the ACL - the representative body for costs lawyers – as timely, with the legal profession having come under increased pressure due to the introduction of fixed costs in several different types of personal injury claims by various Conservative governments.

Julian Caddick, head of costs
Julian Caddick, head of costs

Fixed costs mean that an opponent – which in the case of Thompsons is invariably an insurance company - can potentially drag out a case, forcing the winning solicitor to do more work, which creates unnecessary delays to the legal process for clients.

He said: “The introduction of fixed costs in many personal injury claims, including those involving employers and public liability, combines with an exponential increase in court fees in recent years – since 2014, there has been an 86 per cent increase in fees for claims between £5,000 and £10,000, a 90 per cent increase for claims valued at £15,000, and an astronomical 632 per cent rise in fees for a £50,000 claim.

“It is crucial that there are representative bodies such as the ACL that can challenge the government on this and on a potential further move towards fixed costs elsewhere, such as with certain medical negligence claims.

“I'm thrilled to be a member as I’m so passionate about working with and promoting the Association of Costs Lawyers. I will do what I can to make the argument to those who make the rules on costs, that we're experts in the field and fixed costs is not the answer to every problem in the system.”