The Law Society has published a survey in order to learn more about how members record their time.
In his Review on Civil Litigation Costs: Final Report Jackson LJ recommended that a new format bill of costs should be devised which:
- is more transparent
- provides a user-friendly synopsis of work done; and
- is inexpensive to prepare.
The objective being that a new process would be used for recording time and capturing information, allowing the automatic generation of bills and schedules for detailed and summary assessment using compatible computer software.
Since this recommendation the Hutton Committee has been engaged in:
- The development of a set of universal time-recording codes for litigation cases in England and Wales (‘J-Codes’). Access the J -Codes.
- Designing a new format for bills of costs for detailed assessment.
In July 2014, the J-Codes were approved by Lord Dyson, Jackson LJ and Master Hurst. At the end of July 2015, the Hutton Committee published a template new bill of costs and accompanying guidance, and, in October 2015, Practice Direction 51L brought into force a voluntary pilot scheme for the new bill format which is set to run until 30 September 2016.
The Law Society has launched the survey to gauge practitioners’ awareness of the new bill of costs and J-Codes, the voluntary pilot and enable members to say what training needs they may have.
The survey will close on 3 June 2016.