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The Real Costs Experts

Civil & Commercial is one of the largest and most professional Costs Consultancies in the UK. This success has been achieved in part by recruiting exceptional people with the right skill sets at the right levels.


Outstanding service from the real experts
Our senior team of Costs Lawyers have an unrivalled wealth of professional experience between them, allowing us to offer a genuinely specialist service.


Our Draftsmen work in teams with specific case loads based on the nature and value of the work, with team leaders who take direct responsibility for client liaison and a dedicated client supervisor for every client.

Andrew Thomas
Andrew Thomas

Andrew Thomas

Andrew is Managing Director and Founder of Civil & Commercial. He has overall responsibility for the management of the teams in London and Manchester.


Andrew has over 20 years’ experience in dealing with contentious costs, is instructed in all areas of commercial litigation, and in particular intellectual property related issues. He specialises in advocacy on applications for assessment under the Solicitors Act and those with complex legal argument and appeals as well as Detailed Assessment Hearings in all Courts.

Experience

Andrew has been involved in many substantial commercial cases, the largest being the claim for costs of a contract dispute in the Cayman Islands (costs claimed c. $40 million), a claim for costs on behalf of a successful Defendant to a multi-million pound action for fraud by an international bank (costs claimed c £5 million) and a further international fraud claim which was described by the Judge on a costs appeal as one of the most substantial pieces of litigation of our time (costs claimed c £4 million).


He has been involved also in a number of significantly high value Conditional Fee claims, the most notable being an employer’s liability claim brought by the families of a group of engineers who were kidnapped and executed in Chechnya; and a claim for personal injury by a Premier League footballer against an opposing player and club in which the Claimant alleged that the Defendant had tackled him with malicious intent and the injury sustained had ended his career. Costs in both cases were in the region of £1 million.


Andrew has appeared at all levels from County Courts across the Country to the House of Lords (now the Supreme Court) and has rights of audience as a Costs Lawyer. Andrew has also advised in many reported and ground breaking cases including those defining the powers of the Costs Officer, the ambit of disclosure of documents in assessment proceedings and the timing of appeals from costs judges.

Qualifications

Andrew also has considerable experience in the provision of expert evidence on costs related issues. He is Accredited by the Association of Costs Lawyers as an Accredited Trainer and is an Accredited Mediator.

Court Record

Andrew’s Reported Cases include:

  • Kuwait Airways Company v Iraqi Airways Corporation [1995] 1 All ER 790
  • Re Macro (Ipswich) Ltd [1996] 1 All ER 814 Ch D
  • Bourns Inc. v Raychem Corporation [1999] 3 All ER 154 CA
  • Stubblefield & Others v Kemp & Others [2001] 2 Costs LR 30v
  • Abedi v Penningtons [2000] 2 Costs LR 205
  • Kasir v Darlington and Simpsons Rolling Mills Ltd [2001] 2 Costs LR 228
  • Arab Monetary Fund v Hashim & Others (LTL 17/7/2000)
  • Solomon vs Cromwell Group [2012] 1 WLR 1048

Personal

Outside of the office Andrew enjoys spending time with his children, competing his horses, cycling, the occasional game of golf and when there is nothing else to do he can be found with his sons occupying his seat at Norwich City Football Club.

Anil Virji
Anil Virji

Anil Virji

Anil is Head of Costs at Civil & Commercial. He is responsible for the operational running of the teams in London and Manchester.


Anil has over 20 years’ experience in dealing with contentious costs and has been instructed in all areas of civil litigation ranging from group actions, libel, commercial disputes, clinical negligence, personal injury and matrimonial cases.

Experience

Anil has experience in all aspects of costs having set up two in-house teams and trained the staff within those teams.


Anil has significant advocacy experience and has utilised his higher rights of audience.


Anil successfully guided his previous firm through the “Costs War” unscathed. In particular he handled a multi-party action where costs were in the region of £1 million and numerous technical challenges were taken in relation to the claimants’ CFAs.

Qualifications

Anil is a qualified Costs Lawyer with CLSB accreditation. He is also an accredited trainer. He has set up and run two in-house cost departments.

In 2009 Anil became the first Costs Lawyer to be appointed as a Partner of a law firm.

Court Record

Anil's Reported Cases include:

  • Tibbles v SIG [2012] EWCA Civ 518, [2012] 1WLR 2591

Personal

Outside of the office Anil enjoys spending time with his wife and children, cycling , playing cricket and listening to indie rock music which his daughters say is far too young for him!

Ben Nethercott
Ben Nethercott

Ben Nethercott

Benjamin is an Advocate at Civil & Commercial. He has overall responsibility for all litigation and advocacy across the company.


Ben has considerable legal costing experience, both in-house and in costs practices, where he has dealt with a broad range of high value commercial; personal injury; clinical negligence; and professional negligence claims. Ben specialises in both the justification and opposition of costs.

Experience

He has substantial advocacy experience having attended detailed assessment hearings in County Courts and the Senior Courts Costs Office. He is also experienced in preparing Points of Dispute and Replies in all aspects of costs litigation and both asserting and defending various different types of interim applications within costs proceedings.

Qualifications

Ben attended the Bar Vocational Course. He is also currently a trainee Costs Lawyer.

Personal

Outside of the office Ben is a keen sports competitor and fan, with a particular interest in Rugby Union. Additionally, he is a player-manager for a Sunday League football team. Ben enjoys travelling and hopes to achieve his ambition of visiting every continent by soon. At weekends and in his spare time Ben likes to dine out and spend time with his family and friends.

Catherine Frost
Catherine Frost

Catherine Frost

Catherine is a Costs Lawyer at Civil & Commercial.


Having been employed by the firm since February 2010. Catherine is based in the Manchester office. Catherine has 14 years experience in costs and is instructed primarily in the areas of personal injury, catastrophic injury and medical negligence. Catherine specialises in high value multi track matters. Catherine is instructed primarily in matters for the receiving party, but also has experience dealing with matters for the paying party. Catherine regularly runs a costs clinic to assist more junior members of staff.

Experience

Catherine trained at a national costs firm where she worked for eight and a half years before joining Civil and Commercial Costs Lawyers, gaining experience in all areas of costs. Catherine has appeared in the County Court and the SCCO and has rights of audience as a Costs Lawyer. Catherine enjoys preparing bills of costs, Costs Budgets, Replies to Points of Dispute and negotiating settlements.

Qualifications

Catherine gained a law degree from the University of Warwick in 2001. Catherine passed the ALCD exam in 2006, became a Fellow in 2008 and a Costs Lawyer in 2009.

Personal

Outside of the office Catherine enjoys spending time with her family, photography and foreign travel.

Fred Robbins
Fred Robbins

Fred Robbins

Fred is a Consultant Costs Lawyer with Civil & Commercial and is based in the Manchester office, but with a roving brief.

Experience

Fred has many years experience in dealing with both contentious and no-contentious costs, acting for both paying and receiving parties. Fred previously owned the niche costing firm RMR legal which joined with CCCL in 2017. Fred has a particular interest in Catastrophic Injury, Commercial and Solicitor Own Client costs (both contentious and non-contentious). He is an experienced advocate and regularly appears before Regional Costs Judges and in the Senior Courts Costs Office.

Qualifications

Fred is a qualified Costs Lawyer. He is an accredited trainer for the Law Society and has lectured at Leeds’ University.

Personal

Fred is a keen walker and cyclist. He has taken part in many cycling events including rides for spinal and brain injury charities.

John Hilton
John Hilton

John Hilton

John is a Costs Lawyer and the Operations Manager at Civil & Commercial’s Manchester office.


He is responsible for our Manchester office and also runs his own caseload.


In addition to his duties as Operations Manager, John regularly prepares Costs Budgets, Bills of Costs, Points of Dispute and Points of Reply, as well as undertaking negotiations and advocacy.

Experience

John joined Civil & Commercial as a Trainee in 2011 and was promoted to the position of Team Manager in 2014. In 2016, he qualified as a Costs Lawyer and was appointed to the role of Operations Manager.


John has a wealth of experience in dealing with costs disputes arising from all areas of litigation, ranging from high profile commercial matters to complex medical negligence and spinal injury cases.


He is a member of the Association of Costs Lawyers and is regulated by the Costs Lawyers Standards Board. He is a Tutor and Moderator for the ACLT training school and has prepared course materials and assignments for the current Costs Lawyer qualification.


John has had articles published in Litigation Funding and Claims Magazine on topics ranging from costs budgeting to relief from sanctions.

Qualifications

John has rights of audience as a qualified Costs Lawyer and has appeared in County Courts and the High Court as an advocate.


John studied English Language at the University of Manchester and obtained a BA (Hons). He subsequently went on to study Law at the University of Law, obtaining an LL.B (Hons) and completing the Legal Practice Course.

Personal

Outside of the office John enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, travelling and dining out with family and friends. He enjoys listening to music and is a devoted follower of Manchester United Football Club.

Mark Hardcastle
Mark Hardcastle

Mark Hardcastle

Mark is a Director and Costs Lawyer at Civil & Commercial.


Mark has over 16 years’ experience in dealing with contentious costs and has been instructed in all areas of civil litigation, but predominantly clinical negligence, personal injury, travel and commercial cases.

Experience

Mark has experience in all aspects of costs having held positions as ‘Head of Clinical Negligence’ and ‘New Client CLO’; and more recently, setting up and managing a niche Costs Practice with Offices in London and the South West.


Mark has significant advocacy experience, having successfully represented numerous clients at Detailed Assessment Hearings across the country and at the SCCO.


Mark has dealt with a wide range of high profile, complex and contested costs cases, including multi-million pound Cerebral Palsy and Catastrophic injury claims.

Qualifications

Mark is a qualified Costs Lawyer with CLSB accreditation. He set up and ran a niche Costs Practice for almost 10 years.

Personal

Mark enjoys watching and playing most sports, in particular golf and football. Mark is also a qualified FA Level 2 football coach.

Ria Hindocha
Ria Hindocha

Ria Hindocha

Ria is a Senior Costs Draftsman and Manager of the Multi-Track and Catastrophic Injuries Team at Civil & Commercial.


She has overall responsibility for managing that team as well as running her own caseload. She also plays an integral role in client services, ensuring that one of the business’s largest clients is satisfied with the services Civil & Commercial provide.

Experience

Ria has considerable legal costing experience, both in-house and in costs practices, where she has dealt with a broad range of high value personal injury, clinical negligence and professional negligence claims. She has substantial experience in preparing costs budgets and has attended court at both County Court and High Court level.


With over 5 years of management experience and by exercising meticulous attention to detail, Ria has played a key part in the growth and development of the business.

Qualifications

Ria read Law at King’s College London, obtaining her LLB (Hons) in 2007.

Personal

Outside of the office Ria enjoys dining out, dancing and theatre, having taken a starring role in her primary school’s production of the nativity play. She also has a passion for fashion and can often be seen on the streets of London shopping to her heart’s content.

Robert Patterson
Robert Patterson

Robert Patterson

Robert is a Senior Costs Draftsman at Civil & Commercial in Manchester


Robert’s main role is as a fee earner and he is able to prepare all types of bills, replies to points of dispute and conducts negotiations on all types of civil litigation. Robert’s other responsibilities include advocacy, cost budgeting and he plays an active role in staff training.


Robert has 14 years’ experience as a Costs Draftsman has a particular interest in claims arising out of clinical negligence, solicitor’s negligence and commercial disputes.

Experience

Robert has significant experience as an advocate and has appeared at most levels in County Courts throughout England and Wales in addition to regularly attending the SCCO. He has a broad working knowledge of the CPR and keeps fully up to date with developments in the law and practice of costs.


Personal

Outside of the office Robert enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading, travel and outdoor pursuits.

Steve Page
Steve Page

Steve Page

Steve Page is a Director and Costs Lawyer at Civil & Commercial (South West) Ltd.


Steve has over 20 years’ experience and has dealt with a wide range of costs related matters. For a number of years now Steve has predominantly been involved in Clinical / Medical Negligence claims and Travel claims arising from accidents abroad.

Experience

Steve started his career as an in-house Costs Draftsman for London firm where he was involved in Re: A Company, one of the first cases on hourly rates and expense of time calculations. He then moved on to an independent firm of Costs Draftsmen acting predominantly for Defendant insurers and represented the MIB in Matthews –v- Dorkin & MIB. Having spent a number of years acting for Defendants, he took the opportunity to further his involvement in Claimant Personal Injury including Employer’s Liability, Industrial Disease and Clinical Negligence. As the London Manager for a nationwide Solicitors Costs Practice, he was involved in the multi million pound costs claims arising out of the Buncefield explosion. He has prepared and opposed all types of Bills in the County Courts, Senior Courts Costs Office and the Supreme Court, attending countless Detailed Assessment and Budget hearings in the High Court and County Courts.

Qualifications

Steve is a qualified Costs Lawyer with CLSB accreditation. He has managed the London team of a large Solicitors’ Costs Practice and set up and managed a niche Costs Practice with offices in London and the South West.

Personal

Steve enjoys Salsa, watching football and rugby and playing golf when he gets the opportunity. Steve is also qualified as an Advanced Motorcycle rider and is a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists.