IT not always reasonable

I was very interested to read your piece in the Infotech section headed "Legal aid firm counts on accounting solution" (The Lawyer 30 April).

As I am a costs draftsman it was most interesting to note that the necessity for my profession is to be eliminated by means of a computer system which will deal with "all aspects of legal aid accounts from start to finish".

One hopes that the computer system will take account of the distinction between standard-based costs and computer-based costs. Presumably it will also include an assessment of the various discretionary factors against which assessments and taxations of Legal Aid costs have to be made.

If it is able to do this, it well certainly be the first mechanical system to display this kind of intelligence in the field of legal costs.

I suspect it is much more likely that the originators of this system have conveniently omitted to take into account all the rules relating to legal costs and simply taken time recording as its sole basis.

As all professional cost draftsmen, and most taxing officers know, this cannot evaluate the "reasonableness" of such costs.

MW Bacon