• A reputation for professional excellence with integrity

    A reputation for professional excellence with integrity

  • Accurate understanding and technical analysis

    Accurate understanding and technical analysis

  • National and International Experience

    National and International Experience

  • 34 years in private legal practice

    34 years in private legal practice

  • A focus on events and consequences, not gossip

    A focus on events and consequences, not gossip

  • Helping lawyers, brokers, accountants, surveyors and other professions

    Helping lawyers, brokers, accountants, surveyors and other professions

  • There when you need him

    There when you need him

Telling Tales - March 2018

19 Mar 18

Costs Forecasting is a Discipline, not an Art

Every party to a dispute, whether claiming or defending, needs as early as possible to have a reasoned expectation of their likely spend and how it will be resourced. Even more vitally, they need to anticipate the likely spend budget of the other party/ies. The commonest areas for waste, oversights or underestimates are not so much the volumes of material or durations of meetings or hearings, but rather the amounts of time needed for organising and prioritising the issues applicable to them. The more work done by the client to assemble and organise their material, the less time their professional advisers are likely to need, chargeably, to make sense of the facts and advise on target outcomes or opportunities. To some extent costs forecasting has to be guesswork, using experience and technical craft; but far more often it just requires a sensible stand-back attitude and willingness to face up to all the dimensions of the journey ahead. 

For each of the four main stages of a dispute - investigation; pre-litigation; litigation; and post-litigation - there will be costs payable for risk management/displacement (eg insurance coverage); internal and third party (eg witnesses’) expenses; other procurements; professional services (lawyers, experts, costs advocates, funds brokers etc); and relevant adjudicators or intermediaries (courts, mediators, arbitrators). The earlier that sensible forecasts can be made, and funds ringfenced, the better. The new regime for submission of budgets to the courts, once proceedings are under way, has accentuated the priority of making disciplined assessments amply ahead. These need not – should not – be micro-scientific; but they should be undertaken with sufficient diligence that nothing comes as a surprise when action budgets must be filed at court.

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Professional Risk Expertise

Mike Willis has worked with a diverse range of professions including...

The FMWL Approach …

  • Accurate understanding and technical analysis;
  • Focus on duty, causal event(s) and consequences; not gossip…
  • Sensitive but objective empathy;
  • Overarching commerciality; and
  • Clear aims, with vision where necessary to explore indirect routes to solutions.