Costs ADR brings together luminaries from the legal costs industry to facilitate an efficient and cost effective solution to resolving legal cost issues both internationally and in the UK.

Our panel conveniently brings together costs experts at every level, with publicised charges, to enable parties to select an appropriate individual to assist in resolving their costs dispute. Collectively our members offer various methods of alternative dispute resolution.

Over recent years, there has been a clear shift towards ADR and away from traditional

litigation, for well-cited reasons including speed, mitigating cost and confidentiality.

Beacons of ADR facilities are now found worldwide with well-renowned centres of excellence in London, New York, Paris, Dubai and Singapore amongst many others.  Domestic courts continue to push ADR as a mandatory consideration for litigants with sanctions for those that fail to properly consider it.  Even though ADR has made its mark in substantive litigation, lengthy and expensive disputes about the costs remain in the conventional forums.

We believe there is a real need for ADR in costs disputes and we have pioneered an all-inclusive service of the highest quality to fill that need.

Given how central legal costs are to any dispute, we believe the natural next step is to utilise ADR to resolve what can be lengthy and expensive costs disputes, at an earlier stage.




Highly Commended Costs Company of the Year 2017


Historically, there has been a degree of resistance to ADR generally however, more recently there has been a clear shift in emphasis with parties realising the clear advantages of ADR over litigation. One only has to consider the growth of arbitration centres such as Singapore and Dubai in recent years.

Domestic courts are also encouraging parties to consider ADR and regularly penalising those who unreasonably refuse offers of ADR.

Given how central legal costs are to any dispute, we believe the natural next step is to utilise ADR to resolve what can be lengthy and expensive costs disputes, at an earlier stage.

In bringing together costs experts from the judiciary and the costs profession, both Counsel and Costs Lawyers, CADR can assist.

“It was an excellent mediation. Even being hyper critical, I can’t think of something which I would have changed.”

- Tom Blackburn, Partner Irwin Mitchell


For a number of costs disputes, the detailed assessment procedure provided for by the CPR is a suitable method of assessing the reasonable and proportionate level of inter partes costs. However, with larger and more contentious costs disputes, the inevitable consequence is that costs of the assessment process often become disproportionate. This isn’t helped by lengthy lead times for listings in either the Senior Courts Costs Office or the County Court. It is not


unheard of for parties to wait in excess of 6 months for a 1-day listing. In that period paying parties are left with the uncertainty of not knowing what their actual exposure will be and receiving parties are left out of pocket. Meanwhile interest continues to accrue on outstanding costs in the absence of well judged payments on account.

A speedy and costs effective mediation with

an experienced costs luminary can help bring the parties together and narrow the issues between them. Most detailed assessments hinge on the preliminary issues identified by the paying party. Once these are resolved or at least narrowed, it is often the case that settlement swiftly follows. CADR can help short circuit the detailed assessment process.



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Lesley Graves
CADR Non-Executive Director

Email: lesley.graves@costs-adr.com

In our dedication to resolve costs disputes and speed up delays we appointed leading profit improvement solicitor Lesley Graves to the CADR Board as a Non-Executive Director in April 2017.

Lesley is a practising solicitor and the managing director of Citadel Law, the only advisory law firm focused on supporting the personal injury sector. Having advised on personal injury WIP exceeding £450M, Lesley is the leading and trusted advisor on profit improvement, technical and operational performance and WIP valuation for M&A, lending, restructuring, recovery and insurance.

Lesley’s commitment to supporting the personal injury sector through unprecedented change and maximising profitability has led to her being the leading “go to” advisory lawyer in her field dedicated to supporting the industry.

Lesley has litigated, advised and lectured in all aspects of personal injury litigation during a 25-year plus career in the sector. A recognised legal commentator with the BBC and formerly a partner at Irwin Mitchell, Lesley was “Legal 500” rated as “specialist”, “catastrophic and military expert” and “a respected brain and spinal injury specialist and has been involved in a number of highly publicised cases.” 

Lesley was a recommended solicitor for Headway, the Spinal Injuries Association, the Child Brain Injury Trust, accredited as specialist on The Law Society Personal Injury Panel and an APIL Fellow (top 200 PI lawyers in the country), now without a caseload bestowed the title of “APIL Emeritus Fellow”.


Lesley regularly speaks at conferences and is a regular media commentator featured in BBC’s Radio 5 Live, Radio4’s ‘You and Yours’, local BBC radio stations and BBC News.

Lesley writes for The Times, Law Society Gazette, Solicitors Journal, The Lawyer, Legal Futures, Litigation Futures, Post Magazine, Global Legal Post, Managing Partner, Manchester Law Society Messenger, North West Business Insider, Business Desk NW, West Midlands Business Insider, Manchester Evening News, Modern Law, Modern Claims, Claims Magazine and APIL’s PI Focus.

Lesley presents training regularly for law firms and NatWest, RBS, Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays, Yorkshire Bank, Clydesdale Bank, Kain Knight, Legal Futures, ICAEW, Liverpool Law Society, Manchester Law Society, Legal Futures, Legalex, Symphony Legal, Turnaround Managers Association-North West, Just Costs Solicitors, Temple Legal Protection, Lawnet and JMW’s Lawshare.

“I am delighted to be on the CADR Board. Resolving costs quickly and cost effectively is the bloodline of all businesses and CADR leads the way in supporting the legal sector in this.”


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Zoey White
CADR Head of Operations

Email: zoey.white@costs-adr.com

Zoey is our Head of Operations here at CADR. We are especially pleased to have her as the ‘face of CADR’ for her excellent people skills and experience within the industry.

After graduating with a degree in Law & Business, Zoey spent over 10 years in the Insurance industry dealing mainly with personal injury and clinical negligence matters with both claimant and defendant law firms on a national basis as well as a stint with a specialist Costs Negotiator. She is a Family Court Justice, Chartered Legal Executive and an Accredited Mediator of more than seven years’ standing dealing with a broad range of Civil and Commercial disputes.

Her skills and abilities were recognised by her appointment two years ago to the Faculty of the London School of Mediation.


Zoey now teaches mediation skills across the UK and worldwide and enjoys mentoring and developing the skills of newly qualified mediators. She is the Honorary Secretary of The Society of Mediators and is currently involved in promoting mediation across South Africa and Botswana.

With this experience, against a family background of property development Zoey understands fully the detrimental effect that disputes have on both people and businesses as well as the importance of bringing matters to a sensible conclusion at the earliest opportunity and is a staunch advocate of the power of mediation as an alternative means of dispute resolution.

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