Dictionary Corner

I pace my courses by the number of Powerpoint slides. I do roughly 20 per hour so a standard 3-hour CPD course is 60 slides. In the last 2 months I have done our billing course for Family firms twice, both in-house. This runs to 52 slides so I had been trailing it as a 2.5 hour/CPD point event.

Almost identically both ended up incomplete, at the natural halfway point, having only got through the sections covering Controlled work. The reason?

Firm’s are now SO confused by conflicting, changing and frankly made up advice from Contract Managers, that it now takes twice as long to cover 4-year old content. Some of the myth busting required defies belief. I do however believe it to be an advanced form of “makeitupaswegoalongery”.

Contract Managers, self evidently, have no or little costs assessment training. More importantly they do not have the essential experience in this area, that of presenting and defending costs arguments before Costs Committees. With the demise of this essential tribunal they are never now going to get it. And yet they are sent off to firms to make such costs “decisions”, not assessments mind you, as part of the audit process. Put on the spot, by lawyers with the appropriate skills, knowledge and experience, they are, entirely unfairly in my view, placed in a “Emperor’s New Clothes” situation. Aware of their nakedness but wishing to maintain maximum dignity and authority they simply “makeitupaswegoalong” when pressed. Understandable, entirely avoidable however very damaging.

For followers of the JRS lexicon this variant of “makeitupaswegoalongery” is NOT, and should not be confused with, “Applied Muppetry”.

About Author: SP

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