Chris is a Law Costs Draftsman from Maidstone, working in the nearby Chatham branch in Kent, who has attained positions in Costs from assistant to management. When Chris finds out about something new that he enjoys, he has to absorb as much information as he can and experience as much of it as he can. He has therefore had his fingers in many pies. He is a big believer in equality of opportunity and speaking up against injustices.
Chris was highly successful at AS & A2 level education, where he gained an AS level in biology but focused on English Language & Literature and Business Studies for the higher level A2. He is a fully qualified gym instructor and nutritionist, having done an apprenticeship shortly after leaving school at a local gym where they offered courses to become qualified, whilst working another job in the evenings. He is currently working through a 6 year bachelor course for his degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the Open University whilst working full time with Cost Law Services. Chris will be completing the final exams of his third year in June 2018 to mark the halfway point towards his graduation.
Chris went straight into work after finishing his AS & A2 levels to help supplement his disabled father’s pension in order to allow him to stay in suitable premises for his condition. He began work through a temporary contract with Lloyd’s Banking Group working in the evenings in a migration of data from one system to another. At the conclusion of the contract, Chris sought further work and was fortunate enough, with his experience involving attention to detail, to be awarded with an interview at Fisher Meredith LLP for a Costing Assistant role in their Costing department. The interview was a success and Chris began his career in Costs, assisting the Costs Draftsman. Eventually, Chris was trained to draft small Legal Aid bills and LAA (LSC at the time) assessed CIV Claim 1 & 1As.
Chris’ quick learning of the fundamentals of costs and the drafting of legal bills led to his head being hunted for a position as a Law Costs Draftsman at Just Costs Solicitors where he worked as a fee earner working on Inter Partes bills for the first time, along with valuable experience gained in negotiation, preparing points of dispute and reply.
Following his stint at Just Costs Solicitors, Chris was interviewed for the position of Head of Costs at Oliver Fisher Solicitors in Notting Hill. Out of all the highly experienced candidates interviewed, Chris showed the most ambition and drive, and was offered the job to lead the Costs department at the age of 20. Chris re-organised the department to improve efficiency and enjoyed a successful time managing the work load. Chris oversaw the billing of Legal Helps, doing Legal Aid POA runs through the new CCMS system, keeping track of case progression and preparing reports for the Managing Director, whilst also drafting Legal Aid bills, preparing HCCs, Inter Partes bills, Schedules and negotiating. Chris helped to train a junior to draft CIV Claim 1 & 1As and bill Legal Help files, like had been shown to him when he first started out as an assistant, before eventually moving on from the company to seek work closer to home.
Chris took a sideways step from law for a while, working for a software developer that developed accounting and case management software for firms in the creative industry. Chris’ experience working with different case management systems and accounting software in different law firms gave Chris knowledge and ideas that made him an attractive acquisition to the team. Chris helped work in the software support department, learning in depth about accounting to assist accounts teams in different creative firms. Chris also further developed his IT skills at the company, which he was already competent with having grown up from a young age being very interested in IT.
From the software developer, Chris was headhunted to work for IT operations in a bank. Chris assisted staff internally with both hardware and software issues, and worked in a small team monitoring all systems closely to ensure as little downtime as possible to prevent the company losing money.
Further to being approached for a move back into costs, Chris has been working for Cost Law Services since the 2nd of May 2017, working closely with Duncan Lewis Solicitors in the recovery of costs awarded primarily for Immigration Judicial Review matters, which Chris finds most rewarding due to it enabling Solicitors to continue their great work in preventing the loss of liberty of innocent, vulnerable people when the Home Office attempts to circumvent their own law.
Chris’ most notable case was his involvement in the multi-million dollar case of Daad Sharab v Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud. Chris was one of a few fee earners that worked on the costs litigation of this high profile matter which involved a dispute over the private sale of Colonel Gaddafi’s private jet to a Saudi Prince.
Chris was also the draftsman for a Solicitor vs Client matter against Mackay’s of Cambridge worth in excess of £300,000.
Recommendations and Awards
Whilst heading the costs department at Oliver Fisher Solicitors, Chris was selected and invited to the Modern Law Magazine costs roundtable discussion chaired by Steven Green, Partner at Irwin Mitchell and head of their Costs Department. Chris attended with Directors and Costs Lawyers from some of the biggest firms in the country, discussing current issues and the future of costs, published in the April 2015 issue of the magazine.
Chris has been a keen sportsman from a very young age, ‘accidentally’ hitting golf balls over into the neighbour’s garden since he was 18 months old. He entered his first golf tournament at 7 years old and achieved joint first place against 15 and 16 year olds. He has played cricket at district level for Medway from the age of 8 up to 14. He played football at a semi-professional as a goalkeeper after a brief period at a professional club as a youth player. He also enjoyed time rally driving as a member of a junior rally academy at events held nationally between the ages of 14 to 16. He has more recently enjoyed learning to box and training for potential bouts, but nowadays spends more time hitting his own head, against a wall in frustration, whilst watching BBC Question Time with his interest in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. Despite taking it easier now, Chris still likes staying fit and healthy and regularly works out at home with free weights.
Chris also loves his motorcycles and owns two sport bikes, an Aprilia RSV Mille R and a Kawasaki Ninja ZX636R, both of which he uses to commute to work (not at the same time).
Law Cost Draftsman