Legal Costs – What the Dickens! Dispute Resolution

At Thursfields we well know that Worcester is a charming and pleasant city to visit, offering great restaurants, museums, historical sites, a magnificent Gothic Cathedral and pleasant river walks.

However, we have read recently about the case of Richard Keedwell, a Gloucestershire man (71 and a pensioner) who came to regret his own visit to Worcester after he was allegedly clocked by a speed camera and was prosecuted for speeding in the city. Appeals led him to appear in the Worcester Magistrates Court, and in those proceedings, the sum of £30,000.00 in legal costs and expenses has been accrued in defending and appealing several times a speeding fine of £100.00.

By any stretch, this is a grotesque result, and one which echoes the famous fictional case of Jarndyce v Jarndyce conceived in 1852 by Charles Dickens in his social masterpiece Bleak House. For those who have blocked out all recollection of English Literature after school days trauma, that was a Chancery case involving an estate. After many years (and several generations) arguing, the participants had forgotten what the case had all been about in the first place, and the whole estate had been consumed in legal costs.

Despite Mr Keedwell’s unfortunate experience, we have thankfully learned a lot since the days when Dickens was lampooning the English legal system. In fact, costs in civil cases are now closely regulated by the Courts and Judges participate in active costs management as a case proceeds in order to ensure that costs remain “proportionate” to the sums in issue.

At Thursfields, we do not rely only on these controls because the issue of costs does not stop there. Our Award Winning Dispute Resolution team – rated the best in the West Midlands in 2017 by Legal 500 will apply right from day one, commercial common sense when advising on any dispute. Costs are kept under control and affordability and proportionality are key concerns for us in helping our clients to solve any tricky problem on which we are asked to advise.

Whilst it is always a client’s prerogative to fight a case as the client wishes, we ensure that costs information is transparent and constructive, and use alternative cost effective methods of resolving disputes wherever possible.

We are the first to realise that legal advice is expensive, so we strive to keep this important issue under constant review, and unlike Dickens fictional lawyers, to deliver an excellent service at a realistic cost.

For advice please contact Tim Lawrence, Director, Dispute Resolution on 01905 677055 or

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