The Liver Building

2024 Costs Conference (online)


Speaker: Various

Date: Wednesday 6th March, 2024

Time: 09:30 - 15:00

Areas of Law: Civil Litigation; Personal Injury

Competencies: B


Course Code: S4795


This online event has an excellent line up of speakers, who will provide sessions on all the latest issues within the main areas of costs litigation

Can’t make the date/time or need to revisit the training? No problem, booking onto this event means you will receive a link to access a recording of the event at your leisure! The link will be sent within approx 72hrs of live broadcast & be available for approx. 3 months, to view as many times as you wish.

Accredited by APIL Training –  CPD hours: 4.5 Level: / Litigator & Snr Litigator

Log in

Welcome & introduction ~ DJ Baldwin

Impact of Recoverable Fixed Costs on Civil Litigation~ David Pilling, Civil Law Chambers

  • The changes to the existing regime
  • The ambit and affect of the intermediate track and costs regime
  • Use of Counsel
  • The likely battlegrounds

FRCs & The Courts: What the Judiciary Are Being Taught ~ Nick McDonnell, Kain Knight

  • Insight into what the judiciary are being taught about FRCs
  • How the Courts might apply the new rules


comfort break

ADR and Costs - the effect of Churchill v Merthyr Tydfil ~ Peter Causton, 7 Harrington Street Chambers

  • Peter is a member of the Civil Justice Council’s ADR Judicial Liaison Committee and will update as to moves to mandate ADR
  • The case of Churchill v Merthyr Tydfil and the costs implications explained
  • Focus on some recent cases involving ADR and costs
  • Notes from the mediator’s coal face – saving costs through mediation

Update on Costs Budgeting and Costs Management ~ Sean Linley & Seamus Kelly, Carter Burnett

  • Costs Budgeting
  • Hourly Rates
  • Varying Budgets

comfort break

Dispute insurance (ATE) and litigation funding for commercial disputes ~ Rocco Pirozzolo, Harbour Underwriting

  • Key features of dispute insurance
  • Overview of litigation funding
  • Tips – applying for dispute insurance
  • Tips – seeking litigation funding
  • Some case studies

Key Round Up ~ Benjamin Williams KC, New Square Chambers

  • Resisting non-party costs orders
  • Fundamental dishonesty, strike out of all the claim appropriate, or only PI, and costs that follow? Exploration of QUOCS
  • Back to basics – when considering costs – protect yourself with a reasonable offer
  • Costs in the Appeals process

Summary & thanks ~ DJ Baldwin

Speaker Biographies

DJ Baldwin

Peter Causton was educated at Cambridge University where he studied English Literature before embarking on a legal career which saw him reaching the dizzying heights of civil litigation council member of the Law Society and member of both Civil Justice Council’s costs committees reviewing Guideline Hourly Rates. After over 15 arduous but fascinating years working as a professional indemnity solicitor he took the leap to transfer back to the Bar and is a member of 7 Harrington Street Chambers in Liverpool. For a period he was possibly the first person in the world to have two concurrent practising certificates as a solicitor and barrister. He has represented clients in personal injury, commercial, landlord and tenant, housing condition, wills and contentious probate and insolvency cases amongst others. He is also a proponent of mediation, having set up the Manchester Mediation pilot and been a board member of the Civil Mediation Council as well as winning the award of Mediator of the Year (Highly Commended) in the National Mediation Awards 2017 and the Person Injury Mediator Achiever of the Year 2019. He is a member of the CJC Liaison Committee on ADR considering proposals to mandate ADR. The most common areas he mediates in are: wills and probate, TOLATA, boundary disputes, commercial litigation and also Equalities Act and Discrimination cases. Part time he sits as a Deputy District Judge on the Northern Circuit.

Nick McDonnell is a Director with Kain Knight and a Costs Lawyer who graduated from Cambridge University in 1998 and subsequently went into the law practicing civil litigation with a small solicitors’ firm in the North West where he also took up an interest in costs. Since then, Nick qualified as a Costs Lawyer (2010) working with a number of leading costs firms and costs solicitors. Nick has become a well-respected expert in his field conducting high value and complex costs matters, managing a costs business, delivering technical and practical training to firms of solicitors throughout England and Wales as well as championing access to justice in the face of the government’s Fixed Recoverable Costs reforms, particularly in relation to Housing Disrepair claims.

Seamus Kelly is a Solicitor Advocate and Director at Carter Burnett. He has a wealth of advocacy experience and represents clients throughout the country at CCMCs and  Detailed Assessment hearings. He has particular experience in clinical negligence and catastrophic injury claims. He regularly advises clients on complex costs issues.  Seamus is a regular speaker at costs conferences and also provides bespoke in-house training to file handlers.

Sean Linley is a Senior Costs Draftsperson and Assistant Manager at Carter Burnett (Newcastle upon Tyne) with over 10 years’ experience in costs. He blogs extensively on costs law and has over 12,500 followers on LinkedIn. He has featured in the Solicitors Journal, Cilex Journal and Litigation Funding Magazine and has been quoted multiple times by the Law Society Gazette. He is highly experienced in civil litigation including clinical negligence and catastrophic injury claims. He has also dealt with Supreme Court matters, a privilege many costs specialists have not had.

David Pilling was educated at the Universities of Sheffield, California at Santa Barbara and Manchester Metropolitan, and was called to the bar in 1999.His main areas of practice are Clinical Negligence, multi-track Personal Injury and Costs. His predominantly Claimant clinical negligence practice encompasses claims ranging from dental and cosmetic negligence through to maximum severity cerebral palsy claims involving any area of medical specialty, including attendance at inquests. As a senior junior and experienced clinical negligence trial advocate, David as able to act in cases in excess of a million pounds and regularly does so as sole Counsel. David also handles pharmaceutical and product liability claims. He has a particular interest in claims which raise difficult questions involving consent and/or causation. His personal injury practice is now solely in multi-track claims, including RTA, employers’ liability and public liability. He is also regularly instructed in industrial disease matters. Having been a director of a legal costs company prior to practice at the Bar, David has in excess of twenty years’ experience of handling both between the parties and solicitor/own client costs disputes at detailed assessment and on appeal. He has experience of commercial costs claims, group litigation costs and insolvency costs as well as personal injury and clinical negligence. He also regularly advises on retainer and funding arrangements.

Rocco Pirozzolo has been the underwriting director of Harbour Underwriting Limited since its incorporation in 2016. He is also its managing director. He is a solicitor who has spent over two decades developing and providing insurance for a wide variety of legal disputes brought around the world. Apart from being a seasoned underwriter, he has also been a director in the investment team of Harbour Litigation Funding and so has vast experience of complex litigation risks. Rocco is one of the leading figures in the dispute resolution community. Since 2003, he has served on the forums and committees of the Civil Justice Council, a statutory body responsible for overseeing and modernising the civil justice system. He has also been the Chair of The Association of British Insurers’ Legal Expenses Committee. He is the general editor of The Law Society’s Litigation Funding Handbook and the author of several of its chapters, including that on dispute insurance. He is the co-author of the chapter on legal expenses insurance in the practitioners’ textbook Friston on Costs. Rocco is named in Band 1 as a Leading Individual in the Litigation Insurance Underwriters UK section of Chambers and Partners Litigation Support guide 2023.

Benjamin Williams KC has a wide-ranging civil practice.  Ranked as a Star Individual in Chambers & Partners, and nominated as the Legal 500’s Commercial Litigation Silk of the Year for 2023, his reputation as an imaginative problem-solver has seen him instructed in many prominent cases across multiple fields of law, not just in his bedrock area of insurance-related litigation, but ranging from libel (recently acting for the successful appellant in Banks v Cadwalladr), to appeals on statutory interpretation (recently acting for the claimants in test cases on the effect of the Civil Liability Act 2018 on mixed injury claims), to the most recent decision of the Supreme Court on pure economic loss in tort (acting for the successful appellant in Armstead v Royal and Sun Alliance). Ben is particularly well known to many members of the Liverpool Law Society for his expertise in credit hire, costs, civil procedure and the regulation of the solicitors’ profession.  He has appeared in most of the leading cases in these areas, including last year acting for the successful solicitor appellant in the so-called “costs case of the decade”, Belsner v Cam.  Ben has strong personal links to the north-west, including many instructing solicitors in the area, and has appeared in the Liverpool Civil Courts more than 100 times.


Member £175
Non-member £225
Training Passport Free
Note: 20% VAT added at checkout