An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers
This brand new first edition by Dr Mark Friston offers a breath of fresh air over costs orders with what he rightly describes as ‘a paradox in that it can be both emotive and outstandingly dull’.
“Oh no”, you think, “We don't have to deal with costs again, do we!” Well yes, we do! And Friston gives us the details in one paperback volume. And we liked the back inside page on CFAs although you do need to plasticate the cover if it is going to survive!
In 1,200 pages with a great index and 41 chapters, this authoritative and comprehensive work ranks highly with the most well known annual title ‘Cook on Costs’. The difference between Michael Cook and Mark Friston is primarily one of style and opinion although we feel the Friston content is greater because his book is longer and heavier.
One important aspect which differs from other works on costs concerns the references to many authorities which are difficult to find elsewhere, especially on some of the more detailed aspects of costs.
Friston's aim is to provide a practitioners' text which is focused solely on the law rather than policy (ie Michael Cook) and which is detailed and fully referenced where the author avoids expressing his own views on policy unless they are uncontentious.
He succeeds and this work is highly relevant for the four ‘species of lawyer’ he has in mind to use it, namely:
• costs practitioners \(such as costs lawyers, costs draftsmen, costs counsel etc) • solicitors with management responsibilities • district judges • counsel and solicitors with higher rights of audience
We advise those undertaking training or who have recently qualified to use this book for it has a wealth of general common sense about how to operate in the costs environment- look particularly at chapters 31 (Counsel's fees) and 32 (Fixed costs, costs on the small claims track and fast track) which gives very current advice although we all expect substantial change in the next 18 months.
Yes, ‘Friston on Costs’ is a worthy work and his approach fits in nicely with established books on costs making it a one-stop-shop for the law governing civil costs from the lowest court to the highest so advocates do not go into the judicial argument unprotected if they have ‘Civil Costs’ with them.