horwich farrelly


Horwich Farrelly’s Costs Department was established in 2001 - we now have the largest team in the market and are the recognised leader in costs drafting and negotiation




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 department is led by Partner Nicola Critchley, who was appointed to the Civil Justice Council with a remit to represent the specific interests of the insurance industry. She also sits on the CPRC, giving us unique insight into rule change and policy. The costs teams are based in our Manchester, Liverpool and Southampton offices and operate a collaborative inter-departmental approach during the lifetime of a claim. 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 lead by three partners who have vast experience in all types of costs matters. All of our senior costs team are solicitors with extensive costs litigation experience. All have been at Horwich Farrelly for more than 10 years.

In addition to our enviable technical capabilities we have invested in bespoke processing and business intelligence systems which position us at the forefront of the market.  This technology has enabled the team to work efficiently in a market where large areas of work now come within fixed-fee regimes, and to provide timely strategic insights that give our clients a real competitive edge.

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.


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 Approach

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 handling 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 data bank 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. This approach has resulted in savings for the top 10 volume firms of more than £13million in the last 2 years, predominantly in the MOJ/fixed fee arena which gives an indication of the need for careful scrutiny in these fixed fee cases.

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