A&O slammed for "shocking" costs

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Readers' comments (21)

  • 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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