Chris completed pupillage at a leading common law set and additionally undertook the conversion requirements to qualify as a Solicitor. Chris is authorised to accept direct access instructions and was one of the first self-employed barristers to be authorised by the Bar Standards Board to conduct litigation on behalf of his clients.
Chris spent the first few years of his practice employed by a top tier national law firm where he was in-house Counsel and Head of Costs Litigation. In 2010 Chris moved to the independent bar where he has continued to specialise in Costs law and has developed a substantial national following due to his expertise and technical acumen within the field, particularly in relation to matters concerning litigation funding and the post-LASPO costs regime.
Chris’ practice and experience has been built on a foundation of providing clients with quality and straightforward advice and representation. He is renowned for not being afraid to think outside the box and for his ‘entrepreneurial’ backbone.
Types of work undertaken
In recent years Chris has been involved in a number of test cases and appeals concerning cost estimates, liability for interest, arguments surrounding the premature issue of proceedings, the scope and application of fixed costs especially concerning the MOJ Low Value RTA and EL/PL Protocols (where there has been alleged non-compliance or unreasonable exit) and in respect to pre-LASPO ATE Insurance Premiums and CFA enforceability.
Additionally, Chris represents clients nationally (as paying and receiving parties) in the County Court, High Court and Senior Court Costs Office, dealing with contentious detailed assessments and applications predominantly in respect of complex or high value (in excess of 1 Million) costs claims and is regularly instructed to attend contested Costs Case Management Conferences and prior to settlement of litigated claims or following Judgment where conduct or other factors are likely to play a part in seeking a ‘non-standard’ order for costs.
Chris’ Commercial and Chancery practice includes advising on the enforceability of legal retainers together with instructions to advise Law firms, Accident Management and Credit Hire companies, ATE/BTE Legal Expense Insurers, national Membership Organisations and Unions together with other Commercial Bodies in respect of regulatory compliance (including advice in respect of business models and compliant procedure post-LASPO), general retainers, commercial contracts and terms of business.
Chris’ ‘inter partes’ costs practice includes work carried out on behalf of individual Claimants and their Solicitors to instructions (either direct access or via solicitors) from Corporations, Liability Insurers, Local and Public Authorities and the NHS Litigation Authority.
Chris is additionally regularly retained in the area of ‘Solicitor/Client’ assessments where he acts in equal measure for Solicitors and their former clients in respect of disputes as to costs arising pursuant to the Solicitors Act 1974.
In a large group litigation claim, Chris successfully challenged a Bill of Costs claimed in excess of 1.2 million due to unenforceable client retainers.
Chris was retained by a former client of multi-national firm in a Solicitors Act detailed assessment where he successfully reduced his client’s liability in costs from over 350,000 to 40,000 on account of the provision of inadequate costs information.
In a ‘test case’ appeal concerning ATE insurance premiums, Chris successfully argued that an ATE Insurance Policy incepted for the purposes of Detailed Assessments was both reasonable in principal and amount.
In a credit hire claim (where Chris was instructed by the Defendant insurer both in respect of the substantive claim and then costs), Chris successfully obtained a non-party costs order against the credit hire company following the dismissal of a claim valued in excess of 200,000, one of the largest ever single Claimant hire/storage claims.
Alan Cook -v- Secretary of State for Environment and Climate Change
Appeal concerning the scope of the Pre-Action Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury (Employers’ Liability and Public Liability).
Filho –v- Allianz (2014), Prior –v- Silverline International (2015), Binch –v- Freeman  12 C.L. 48, Askari –v- Clucas (2006)
Restriction to Claimant’s costs where proceedings were found to have been issued prematurely.
Martin –v- Prince and Royal and Sun Alliance (HC)
Success fee reduced from 100% to 30% in catastrophic injury claim.
Melia –v- Fairhurst
Appeal concerning the recovery of ATE insurance premiums in respect of an ATE Insurance Policy incepted for the purposes of Detailed Assessments.
Webster –v- Griffith (HC)
High Court appeal concerning procedural errors within a post-trial summary assessment.
Dronsfield –v- Street (HC)
High Court appeal concerning the appropriate level of success fee to be allowed in a catastrophic RTA injury claim.
Randhawa -v- Hogan (SCCO) (Master Hurst).
Recovery of ’standard basis’ costs in credit hire case where damages agreed below Fast Track threshold.
Billington -v- Downs Solicitors LLP (SCCO) (Master Leonard).
Solicitor’s costs limited by reason of cost estimate in solicitor/own client assessment.
Simcoe -v- Jacuzzi UK (Leeds CC)
Recovery of interest on costs where instructions received on a CFA basis.
Carlon –v- Domino’s Pizza Group Ltd
Exceptional circumstances’ applied to fixed recoverable costs claim, allowing costs to be recovered on the standard basis.
Tiller –v- Provident Insurance
Claimant ordered to pay costs of Defendant’s unsuccessful Part 20 proceedings on an indemnity basis due to poor conduct.
Van den Haak –v- (1) Huntsbuild Ltd and (2) Richard Money trading as Richard Money Associates TCC
50% reduction to successful Claimant’s costs taking account of poor conduct during the litigation.
Mastercigars –v- Withers LLP
Effect of cost estimates in a solicitor/own client assessment.
Young –v- Brown and Others 2 All ER 453 (CA)
Generic costs in multi-party professional negligence claim.
Heer –v- Redmill Snacks Ltd
Staged insurance premium disallowed where there was a failure to provide proper notification.
Jonsberg –v- James Paget Hospital NHS Trust
Compliance with detailed Part 18 request required where the Claimant had BTE insurance and elected to proceed by way of a CCFA.