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Costs Cover Shields Firm from Overcharging Allegations

Charles Galayini | Thursday, February 15, 2018
Costs Cover Shields Firm from Overcharging Allegations

Costs Cover was called on to defend a policy holder (hereafter referred to as PH) who had received a Summons for Taxation of Costs in the Supreme Court of Victoria.

PH is a small firm, with just two practicing solicitors specialising in Employment Law, Commercial Litigation, Debt Recovery and Will Disputes. PH generally acts in small matters, but occasionally takes on larger Commercial Litigation matters. The matter in question was a significant client for PH that had required ongoing work over a 27-month period, resulting in a substantial legal bill. Costs disclosures were provided from engagement to the matter’s completion, with regular costs updates provided along the way. Despite this, PH’s bill was called into dispute following completion of the case.

Upon receipt of the Summons, PH notified Costs Cover of the claim and subsequently the Insurer XL/Catlin was notified. From there XL/Catlin took carriage of the matter, quickly accepting liability for the claim, before sourcing independent Legal and Costs advice to assist with the defence of the Costs Dispute.

From initial assessment, and utilising knowledge of the Courts likely approach to Costs Disputes from previous cases, it became clear that an adverse finding, either financially, professionally or both, against PH was a significant possibility. After consulting with PH, XL/Catlin instructed their Legal Defence Team to take proactive steps to settle the matter. Following extensive negotiations conducted by the party’s respective legal representatives, a settlement was reached, and the matter came to a timely resolution.

Costs Cover spoke with PH following the process and was pleased to hear that PH was delighted with the outcome. A resolution had been achieved and the financial loss to PH had been minimised - “Without Costs Cover a commercial resolution would not have been possible”. Interestingly, in addition to the commercial outcome, PH was appreciative for professionalism of the legal representation provided under the policy which allowed the dispute to resolve in an efficient, effective and concerted manner. “The time I saved not having to handle the defence of the matter was invaluable”.

The Costs Cover policy responded in exactly the fashion it was intended too, protecting Law Firms from an expensive, frustrating and distracting dispute process.

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