Robin Dunne (2002)

Robin Dunne (2002)

Membership Status: Barrister - Full Member Qualified in 2002 Public Access Accredited


General Information

Robin is a specialist costs and litigation funding counsel. He has focused on this complex area of law since qualification and has over 15 years' experience of dealing with all types of costs claims.

He also acts in professional negligence claims involving solicitors, particularly where the dispute involves issues relating to costs.

He has written and published an 86 page Essential Guide to Civil Costs & Litigation Funding which can be downloaded at:  

Robin was called to the bar in 2002. Prior to independent practice he was an employed barrister and partner in a City of London firm of solicitors. He is direct access qualified which enables members of the public to instruct him directly and is also one of a small number of barristers who are permitted to conduct litigation.

He is based at 218 Strand, London (opposite the Royal Courts of Justice) and is happy to see clients in chambers or at their solicitor's offices.

Costs and Litigation Funding

He is instructed by both paying and receiving parties in all issues relating to costs and is particularly sought after in cases which are unusual or involve novel points of law. He has a friendly manner combined with a commercially astute approach.

Robin’s practice covers both inter-partes and solicitor/client disputes. The majority of his work in detailed assessments relates to six or seven figure bills of costs or cases involving points of principle.

His costs practice covers

• Detailed Assessment hearings
• Appeals (both first and second appeals)
• Costs Budgeting
• Costs of very high value Cat PI claims
• Costs in clinical negligence claims
• Fixed costs disputes (MOJ and PCR)
• Points of law
• Test cases
• Solicitor /client disputes
• Success fees and ATE disputes
• Interlocutory hearings regarding costs issues (default costs certificates, interim payments etc)
• Relief from sanctions Applications
• Costs involving Legal Expense Insurers
• Disputes involving fraud

Although based in London within easy access to the SCCO and High Court he will travel nationwide. In addition to his busy advocacy practice, Robin also has a significant paper practice including:

• Advices on points of law, likely award of costs and costs issues generally
• Written submissions on costs following judgment
• Pleadings including Part 7 and Part 8, applications, Part 18 questions, notice and grounds of appeal, skeleton arguments etc
• Unusually for counsel, Robin has vast experience of drafting points of dispute and replies

Professional Negligence involving solicitors

Having been a partner in a firm of solicitors for a number of years Robin has first-hand knowledge of the working practices and obligations of solicitors.

He acts and advises in professional negligence claims involving solicitors and has particular expertise in claims which involve costs issues or disputes or where there is a combination of allegations of negligence and disputed fees.

His recent experience includes acting in a six figure claim involving complex issues of negligence and a concurrent Solicitors Act litigation.


Robin qualified as a mediator with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and is available to mediate in all civil disputes. He is also able to act in expert determination matters relating to costs.

Selected recent cases

Vivienne Jago v Whitbread Group PLC (2016) Lawtel: Master Whalan SCCO.  Acting for the paying party in an application to disallow costs under CPR r.44.11.  50% of the claimant's assessed costs disallowed due to her solicitor's improper and unreasonable conduct in the detailed assessment proceedings.

Rahimian & Anor v Allan Janes LLP [2016] EWHC B18 (Costs): Senior Costs Judge Gordon-Saker.  Solicitor and client assessment.  Consideration of 'Chamberlain' bills and when the client must be in a position to consider whether to have the bills assessed.

Vlamaki v Sookias & Sookias [2015] EWHC 3334 (QB): Mr. Justice Walker. Appeal following a solicitor and client assessment. Whether a retainer allowed the solicitors to render interim statute bills.

Johnson v Cambridge & Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (2016) Master James SCCO. Appearing for the NHSLA. The approach to a bespoke Temple ATE premium where D argued that the risk element had been significantly over estimated. Premium reduced from £121,264 to £35,577.60.

French v Carter Lemon Camerons [2015] 1 Costs LO 107: Mrs. Justice Swift. Relief from sanctions following a failure to serve a statement of means in a High Court costs appeal.

AMH v Scout Association: (2015) SCCO, Master Leonard. Question of whether in a clinical negligence case the client’s decision to switch from legal aid to CFA reasonable. Judgment available here:

Mitchell & Co v Meridian Private Plaza (2015) Companies Court. Mr. Registrar Briggs. Acting for the client who was successful in striking out the solicitor's winding up petition where there were outstanding disputes over the bills of costs rendered. Also acted in the appeal of that decision before Mr. Justice Snowden (dismissed by consent following hearing.)

R v Binning, (2014) Oxford Crown Court, HHJ Eccles QC (advice and skeleton argument by Robin Dunne, oral advocacy by Mr. Compton QC.) The Crown Court considered the circumstances in which a defendant could recover the costs of defending himself from the CPS. Judgment available here:

While in-house Robin was involved in a number of important cases including:

Solomon v Cromwell, Oliver v Doughty [2011] EWCA Civ 1584: The question of whether a standard basis costs order made when accepting a Part 36 offer dis-applied fixed RTA costs.

Beal v Russell (2011) Lawtel, SCCO, Senior Costs Judge Hurst: The appropriate success fee where there was Part 36 protection within the CFA and liability had been admitted prior to the CFA being signed.

Tankard v John Fredericks Plastics Ltd, Jones v Attrill [2008] EWCA Civ 1375: Law Society’s Accident Line test case. (Decision below in Jones v Attrill available on Lawtel)

C v W [2008] EWCA Civ 1459: The proper success fee to be allowed where the only risk was losing to a Part 36 offer.


Robin is available to provide in-house CPD training sessions in all areas of costs law including costs budgeting and the post LASPO costs environment.




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