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National Costs Law Conference

National Costs Law Conference

Date & TimeFriday 21 February 2020 9am–5pm
Format Conference
Price

Member

$580.00

Non-Member

$700.00

CPD Units 6
  • Ethics & Professional Responsibility
  • Professional Skills
  • Practice Management & Business Skills
  • Substantive Law
Venue LIV Conference Room, Level 13, 140 William Street, Melbourne View Map

Exclusive LIV Member Offer: Early Bird Discount
Book by January 31 and receive 20% off the member price

The 2020 National Costs Law Conference focuses on the costs implications of class actions and features an impressive line-up of speakers from Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania, including the Honourable Justice Lee of the Federal Court of Australia and reputed costs scholar Professor Gino Dal Pont.

Obtain valuable insights into the involvement of costs lawyers in class actions and practical takeaways from the VLRC’s report to inform and guide your costs law practice in 2020.

Further details below.

Program Overview

  • National Cost Law Conference - Friday 21 Feb
    • 8:30 AM Registration begins
    • 9:00 AM Conference Opening & Welcome
    • 9:05 AM Keynote Address – The Costs of Class Actions

      The Federal Court manages the most active class action regime in Australia and, having been established in 1992, it is also the longest established. By 31 May 2017, 402 class actions had been filed in the Federal Court, and at least $3.5 billion had been paid by defendants pursuant to judicially approved settlements.

      This keynote address by Justice Lee of the Federal Court will provide an overview of the involvement of costs lawyers in class actions from a judicial perspective and the implications of costs recoveries in class actions.

      Presenter: The Hon Justice Lee, Federal Court of Australia

      Compliance Area(s): Substantive Law / Practice Management & Business Skills

    • 10:05 AM Morning tea
    • 10:30 AM The Ins and Outs of Class Actions for Costs Lawyers: Honing your understanding

      With a 44% increase in the volume of Federal Court class actions in the four years from 1 June 2014 to 30 June 2018, class actions are demonstrating continued growth.

      Providing an overview of the mechanics of class action litigation, from investigation and commencement through to settlement approval and distribution, this session will enhance your understanding of the unique considerations that arise in these circumstances from a costs perspective.

      Topics addressed include:

      • The unique relationship between the solicitors conducting the litigation and the members of the class and the supervisory role played by the Court
      • Funding and costs structures
      • The function of costs and funding agreements
      • Competing class actions and the role of costs when Courts address multiplicity
      • Requirements of disclosure to group members
      • Settlement, including approval of litigation costs and the costs of settlement distribution

      Presenter: Andrew Paull, Group Leader, Class Actions, Slater + Gordon

      Compliance Area: Substantive Law

    • 11:15 AM Back to Basics Roundtable: Overcoming common pitfalls

      Join recognised costs experts in this interactive session to discuss common issues that arise for costs lawyers in day-to-day practice and solutions to overcome them.

      Topics covered include:

      • Practical tips when costing electronic files
      • Reconciling estimated costs with actuals
      • Issues with disclosure letters and updates to disclosure

      This session will incorporate a Q & A component where you will have the opportunity to ask the panellists questions about these issues and discuss your experiences. It will also provide tips and techniques to improve your productivity when working through these trickier aspects of your costing practice.

      Presenters:

      • A representative from the Victorian Legal Services Board + Commissioner
      • Kym Chapman, Principal, Kym Chapman Solicitors
      • Debra Paver, Principal

      Compliance Area: Professional Skills / Practice Management & Business Skills

    • 12:15 PM Lunch
    • 1:00 PM Costs & Law Reform: Key takeaways from the VLRC report

      The VLRC’s Access to Justice: Litigation Funding and Group Proceedings Report recommended significant costs changes to increase access to justice for class action litigants including the regulation of litigation funding at a national level, lifting the ban on contingency fees and increasing the Victorian Supreme Court's role in managing class actions.

      Providing valuable insights into the key recommendations from the VLRC’s report into class actions, this practical session will empower you to assess the application of the report’s findings to your practice. The session will cover topics including the role of litigation funders within class actions, their powers vis-à-vis contingency fees as well as the independence of the costs lawyer in legal proceedings.

      Presenter: Cate Dealehr, Principal, Australian Legal Costing Group

      Compliance Area: Substantive Law

    • 1:45 PM The Ethics of Lawyer Cancellation Fees: How do they affect you?

      Join renowned costs scholar Gino Dal Pont in this thought-provoking session exploring the parameters of lawyer cancellation fees and the ethical implications for you as a costs lawyer when considering these fees in preparing a bill of costs. This session will provide you with the tools to identify these issues as they arise in your practice and strategies to manage them.
       
      Topics covered include:

      • Recovery of cancellation fees (in both a lawyer-client and in a party-party context)
      • Differing professional views on the ethics of charging or recovering cancellation fees
      • Whether (and how) charging cancellation fees fits into the modern costs environment (including with the recent ouster of the Chorley exception by the High Court)

      Presenter: Professor Gino Dal Pont, University of Tasmania

      Compliance Area: Ethics & Professional Responsibility

    • 2:45 PM Afternoon tea
    • 3:00 PM Reasonableness & Proportionality in Costs

      What is meant when we say reasonably and proportionately incurred and reasonable and proportionate in amount? Take the opportunity to boost your understanding of this costing complexity and improve your practice in this engaging session.

      Exploring a new species in costs disputes, this session will take a look at the concept of reasonableness and proportionality in costs in the context of section 172 of the Legal Professional Uniform Law, and will cover the following topics:

      • The changing English landscape: England’s review of “Woolf” proportionality
      • Law practice costs versus ordered costs: does budgeting provide a different micro-climate?
      • Will the survival of the fittest turn reasonableness and proportionality into something that it’s not in its native England? Why it may grow differently down-under
      • Practical application of the new test

      Presenter: Peter Rosier, Principal Lawyer, Rosier Partners

      Compliance Area: Substantive Law

    • 4:00 PM What’s New in Legal Costing?

      With the sheer volume of employment matters being heard before courts and tribunals on a daily basis, staying on top of case law developments relevant to your practice can be hard work. Add that to conflicting case authorities and before you know it, half a billable day disappears in legal research.

      This practical session will save you time and effort by reviewing recent cases and trends in costs law including the costing of class actions, and will provide an update on developments in theLegal Profession Uniform Law (LPUL).

      This session will also cover key case updates and developments, including the implications of Bell Lawyers Pty Ltd v Pentelow [2019] HCA 29 and subsequent authorities, and offer tips that you can take back to the businesses you advise.

      Presenter: Sarah Cherry, Barrister, Victorian Bar

      Compliance Area: Substantive Law

    • 5:00 PM Conference Close & Networking Drinks

Further Details

  • Full Description

    With more than a billion dollars paid out to over 28,000 class members since the commencement of Victoria’s class action regime, class actions have become big business and present unique challenges and considerations for costs lawyers. Some of these issues were the focus of the recent report into class actions by the Victorian Law Reform Commission’s (VLRC), which recommended significant costing changes to increase access to justice for class action litigants.

    The 2020 National Costs Law Conference focuses on the costs implications of class actions and features an impressive line-up of speakers from Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania, including the Honourable Justice Lee of the Federal Court of Australia and reputed costs scholar Professor Gino Dal Pont.

    Obtain valuable insights into the involvement of costs lawyers in class actions and practical takeaways from the VLRC’s report to inform and guide your costs law practice in 2020.

    Topics covered include:

    • Cost implications of class actions
    • Key takeaways from the VLRC’s report, Access to Justice: Litigation Funding and Group Proceedings
    • The parameters and ethical implications of lawyer cancellation fees
    • Reasonableness and proportionality in costs
  • Presenters

    Cate Dealehr, Principal, Australian Legal Costing Group

    The Honourable Justice Lee, Federal Court of Australia

    Andrew Paull, Group Leader, Class Actions, Slater + Gordon

    Kym Chapman, Principal, Kym Chapman Solicitors

    Debra Paver, Principal

    Professor Gino Dal Pont, University of Tasmania

    Peter Rosier, Principal Lawyer, Rosier Partners

    Sarah Cherry, Barrister, Victorian Bar

     

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    Click here to learn more about our 2020 CPD program.