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Established almost 20 years ago, Horwich Farrelly’s costs department, one of the first in-house costs teams to be established within an insurance law firm, has saved clients in excess of £3bn since 2009, and £400m since LASPO came into effect.

The costs teams are based in our Manchester and Southampton offices and operate a collaborative inter-departmental approach during the lifetime of a claim. With over 30 staff we have the most successful dedicated team in the market and are a recognised leader in third party costs negotiation, as well as costs indemnity saving strategies.

The team is led by Paul McCarthy, a costs lawyer and board member of the Costs Lawyer Standards Board, who is also on the FOIL Sector Focus Group for Costs. All of our senior costs team are solicitors with extensive costs litigation experience. All have been at Horwich Farrelly for more than 10 years. Within the department we have a number of in-house advocates who attend our hearings securing the best results for our clients. Our advocates have been classed as being in a ”league of their own” and “the best they have ever come across” by our opponents.




We pride ourselves on our results, which are not only demonstrated in the savings we have made but in our success in cases that proceed to hearings, with a 90% success rate.

We act for over 75 clients including:

  • insurers, directly or from their panel
  • public sector
  • self-insureds
  • corporates and others

Our team have extensive experience dealing with a wide range of costs disputes including:

  • personal injury
  • professional and medical negligence
  • commercial disputes
  • judicial reviews
  • housing disrepair
  • appeals and test litigation

These disputes range from less than £1,000 in costs to millions of pounds. We also deal with costs in infant approval cases, handling the procedural aspects of the claim alongside the technical arguments in relation to costs.

Our scale allows us to concentrate expertise in teams specialising in specific types of costs matter in line with an evolving market.

  • MOJ Portal
  • Fixed Costs
  • Standard Costs
  • High value and complex costs
  • Costs Budgeting
  • Infant Approval
  • Test litigation
  • Drafting/Recovery

We deal with costs arising out of RTAs, EL, PL, product liability, property, clinical negligence and other civil claims, including fraud.

Technical Team: Primarily handle test litigation; high value costs disputes arising from commercial litigation, catastrophic claims, and complex multi-defendant matters; and appeals. They also deal with discrete issues including success fees, ATE premiums and hourly rate challenges.

In-house Advocacy Team: We avoid the need to employ external counsel in the vast majority of cases. They have higher rights of audience, regularly attend court and SCCO hearings nationally and are experienced in running test litigation around the CPR.

Drafting / Recovery Team: With considerable experience of acting for paying and receiving parties in commercial litigation in the High Court. On assessment, we successfully defend over 95% of our bills. We often beat our own Part 36 offers to secure a 10% uplift and our own costs.

We adopt a strategic approach to costs negotiations and in addition to the team’s expertise, we utilise our extensive MI databank of more than 500,000 settled cases and our “Know Your Opponent” insight. Our experience and approach here means that we are recognised in the market as a firm with not only a particular expertise in an increasingly complex and technical area, but also one with a formidable reputation for a robust but fair approach.

We work hard to influence change and combat unreasonable behaviours working in partnership with our clients to implement specific strategies and policies where we identify abuse.

Cost Budgeting

Horwich Farrelly were one of the first firms to establish a dedicated Cost Budgeting team in response to the changes to Civil Procedures in 2013 and now have leading experience and expertise in the area...

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We maintain an in-house advocacy team - in many cases we can therefore avoid using external counsel...




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Strategic Insight

The volume and nature of work we deal with allows us to identitfy trends in the market as soon as they appear - we then work in partnership with our clients to develop effective early responses to counter adverse behaviours...

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