A&O slammed for "shocking" costs

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  • Costs

    The 5-day trial length makes it quite clear that there were not terribly many issues in dispute in the proceedings. In that case, Allen & Overy's costs are so disproportionate to the issues being litigated that those involved should be ashamed of their management of the matter.

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  • Costs

    A&O's use of the term "tiny fraction" in its spokesman's response, merely underlines the firm's inability to grasp the concept of proportionality.
    A&O should have spent some of the immense man hours it clocked-up considering their client's business rather than its own. I personally can't imagine any legal issue requiring that amount of research, the average adult could comprehend (from a cold start) the time-space continuum in far far less time.

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  • Costs

    Maybe Taylor Wessings' client had no confidence in the case? That could explain the 5 to 1 difference!

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  • Mr Justice Floyd

    Those are some fairly strong expressions by Mr Justice Floyd. Christopher Floyd is not someone who is given to extreme statements, he is normally quite conservative and not strongly extrovert in the way he expresses himself.

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  • costs

    Trainees and paralegals do what they're told. Like the sorcerer's apprentice, they'll carry on doing it until they're told to stop. If the hours are high it's because of the lack of management.

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  • "Big Company in Big Cases Cost Big Money Shocker"

    Does anyone sense that the Anonymous posters might be from rival law firms? They purport to know a lot about this case considering that they weren't involved. Given that RIM won the case, one can only assume that they were very happy with the efforts of A&O's poor, overworked associates (one's heart bleeds). RIM can hardly have failed to notice that they were paying a goodly amount for A&O's services, but then they are a big company and presumably wanted to win. So where exactly is the news?

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  • Aren't we all missing the point a bit?

    If we're going to re-write the headline, surely those downtrodden associates at A&O should be hailed as heroes for saving the legal profession's favourite business efficiency tool?! Or have the ex-lawyers at the Lawyer been released from their email shackles? ...Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld...

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  • Big money, big case

    Well, it's pretty obvious the judge wasn't too impressed with A&O, whatever RIM might think...

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  • A&O COSTS

    Interestingly, if one takes the two associates referred to - their hours total around 4500, which equates to £444.44/hour as the associate rate. If one assumes that say 1500 hours p.a. were recorded this implies a billing total for each associate of £666,666 . OK so I only got this by rounding the hours down to 4500.......Is there a dark force at play here, or maybe this is where the 66% figure came from?

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  • Costs

    Entertaining reading, for sure, but you can't ignore the fact that, though Taylor Wessing racked up a fifth of A&O's costs, they lost the case. You don't win major commercial litigation by counting the pennies.

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  • Tough press for A&O

    The judge may not have been impressed, but it looks to an extent like A&O have taken one on the chin for their client here. Judges frequently criticise solicitors for the level of their costs, and Messrs Allen & Overy could easily have downplayed the size of their bills to avoid this (one suspects firms do this all the time - who knows, maybe they did here). But if/when firms do this they: (a) give judges an artificial impression of what big cases really cost to run; and (b) remove any chance their clients have of recovering those costs. Don't ask, don't get. Do ask, risk stern telling off, but then that's your job.

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  • A&O slammed for "shocking" costs

    As a mere claimants' personal injury lawyer trying against the odds to make a crust (always an honest one) I shall produce this story, and the judgement when I can get hold of it, to the district judge and to the paying party's moaning representative at my next detailed assessment hearing.

    The word proportionality (or lack of it) comes to mind.

    And they probably only paid a few thousand pounds in total court fees over the length of the case to occupy the trial court for 5 days and for their costs hearing - at what expense to the Court Service?

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  • Costs judge

    What's passing people by here is that this still has to go off to a costs judge. It doesn't necessarily follow that A&O will be putting all this forward as costs. It'll be interesting to see how much A&O will recover when they go before the costs judge.

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  • Counsel

    I see counsel are a bunch of Squares...

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  • Shame on A&O

    I'm really disgusted by the statement of A&O's spokeman. A&O lawyers are simply inefficient. Their despicable spokeman might try to frame the issues and twist the facts very nicely, but that won't change the fact that A&O lawyers are extremely inefficient compared to their rivals.

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  • Big litigation, big fees.

    Floyd J is out of touch if he thinks A&O's costs are unrealistic. Lawyers are paid by the hour and after 15 months of pre-trial work, the fees are unsurprisingly large. RIM/Blackberry and Visto are large wealthy companies and can afford this type of litigation. The London decision was an important milestone for RIM in light of pending US litigation. As a rich client, I would rather pay £5 million and win, than £1 million and lose. As for expensive lawyers, the market will generally sort itself out in the lomg term...

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  • Outsource to INDIA

    Save costs and outsource to India the research aspects, people there can do it at a fraction of cost, less attitude, without unnecessary coffee breaks and other breaks, getting down to business with much fuss. US firms started to do it long back, its time for UK firms to learn lessons. And more importantly, UK legal professionals should learn the lesson that if they don't reduce their cost, and abnormally high standard of living, work is going to go to other countries and it should, because there are capable people who can do the same job with much less cost and attitude.

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  • Costs

    Although completely relevant, it isn't just an issue of proportionality (or lack of), there is also a reliance by A&O on proportionality, using the scale of RIM's business in order to rationalise such a high fee over a comparatively short period, for such a short trial, for such a limited number of individuals. In other words, the business is huge, the amount at risk is huge and accordingly we can justify a huge fee (whether genuinely required or not (I have no idea if it was).

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  • Value for money?

    The implications of the case could have been huge for RIM. "Investing" £5 million in legal fees may have seemed like a good move for the firm, particularly given the potential dent from licencing costs or even losing parts of what makes RIM unique.

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  • Deepest Pockets Always Win

    Is this just another lesson for all disputes, regardless of jurisdiction, settle if the other side is richer or, is it a simple matter of piling on the hours and get as many people involved at the same time so you can justify the fee you decided to charge? It would be very interesting to hear what A&O's clients have to say if and when they get a bill for this and for how much....

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