I’m chairing what should be a great seminar for litigators at Melbourne’s RACV Club on 28 August 2013. Judicial Registrar Meg Gourlay who is one of the two decision makers who is handling most of the solicitor-client taxations in the State at the moment is the lead singer, talking about the changes to Order 63 of the Supreme Court Rules and the new Supreme Court scale which is no doubt the harbinger of new scales in other courts too. Despite my complete failure as a blogger to bring them to your attention, these are big changes: so big I have never quite got around to writing a post about them, a bit like the post about the decision in Fritsch v Goddard Elliott. So it is well worth finding out what the Costs Court figures they mean. Apart from anything else the more mysterious bits have been chopped out of the scale which means that lay lawyers uninitiated in the dark arts of that most mysterious of cabals — the costs lawyers — might actually be able to draw bills themselves with a bit of orthodox education, a spot of which the Judicial Registrar is going to engage in.
The band is pretty hot too. Anna Sango has bravely taken on the task of speaking about a strange new concept getting a workout at the salons of the most elegant cost lawyers: ‘proportionality’, absolutely all the rage I’m told amongst aristocrats in England whose favourite pastime seems to be inventing more rules for that greatest of all English board games, litigation. Frankly, it seems like a dangerously French concept to me, a sly limit on the individual’s right to litigate matters of principle and bugger the expense, but Sango will no doubt tell us that it’s more nuanced than that. Then, after all that esoterica, Paul Linsdell, one of the head honchos of the behemothic Blackstone Legal Costing will speak on tips and traps when arguing costs in litigation. The traps are newly refreshed thanks to the subject matter of Judicial Registrar Gourlay’s talk, and so this hoary old chestnut of a topic will be worth a listen. And then Debra Paver, who has given evidence in a few security for costs applications in her time, will speak on the inherently useful subject of how to argue for and against such applications.
I have two otherwise unbelievably expensive tickets available for enticing supplicants.