Paul is a highly experienced costs practitioner with an ever-expanding range of expertise.  Whilst he maintains a busy and successful practice advising on the procedural law and the costs of high value clinical negligence and personal injury actions, including group litigation, he has considerable experience of advising on (and mediating) commercial, property and planning costs disputes.  Having started practice at the Bar in personal injury, he is also an experienced cross-examiner, and is regularly instructed to deal with disputes concerning conduct, misconduct, wasted costs and non-party costs orders.

Since 2013 Paul has been heavily involved in assisting firms with managing the transition to the post-Jackson world, having given business advice and undertaken substantial non-contentious work in this regard. Seven years on, Paul still advises on managing ‘broken retainers’ and resolving disputes concerning the indemnity principle, from both the paying party’s and the receiving party’s points of view.  His expertise in solicitor and own client disputes has also recently been in high demand as litigation in the sector gains pace.

As an advocate, Paul has appeared at all levels, from the County Court to Court of Appeal, and has substantial experience of advising on, litigating and mediating claims for costs in well excess of £1m.  Paul is keen to expand his practice further and, in that regard, is currently advising on the costs of an application in a highly-complex and extremely high value commercial claim in the British Virgin Islands.  He will be called to the Bar of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in October 2020.

Paul is a longstanding member of the Recruitment Committee in Chambers and, together with Kevin Latham, has co-edited the Costs section of the Civil Court Service (“the Brown Book”).

Outside of work, Paul loves spending time with his two boys, watching football and, at least up until March 2020(!),travelling the world to indulge in his passions of food (an obsessive, but very amateur, cook!), drink, languages and Swedish metal…..


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"Paul Hughes is thorough and displays good attention to detail. He is equally good with clients as he is with judges."

Chambers UK 2024

‘Paul is extremely knowledgeable and analytical, with a meticulous eye. He is highly responsive, pragmatic, and gives practical advice.'

Legal 500 2024

"Paul is one of the most approachable and well-rounded barristers in the costs arena. He is adaptable to any situation and offers fair and frank advice on all matters."

Chambers UK 2024

"He knows the costs arena like the back of his hand."

Chambers UK 2024


Paul has been ranked in every edition of Chambers and Partners for Costs & Litigation Funding since 2008.

He currently is one of just six juniors in Band One.

“Paul Hughes is able to explain very different terms in his area simply to clients.” “He is very knowledgeable in costs, has good technical understanding of the rules and is a very efficient advocate.” Chambers UK 2023

“Paul is a very thorough individual who is totally on top of his area of specialism with regards to costs. This is often a very technical area now for solicitors and it is always useful to know that Paul is readily available to provide reassurance and a degree of expertise with regard to these issues. He is very good on paper and a strong advocate. Paul is a first port of call, and is keen, sharp and perceptive.” Legal 500 2023

Very affable and cuts through the noise.” “He always has a total grasp of all costs matters.” Chambers UK 2022

“Very approachable and knows the case law. He’s always on point because he’s seen so much; it’s very rare that he doesn’t have experience of a situation.” “Good at handling mediations as he’s calm, relaxed and in control all at the same time.” Chambers UK 2021

“A very able and experienced costs lawyer.” Legal 500, 2020

Chambers UK 2020 said “Always happy to help and point practitioners in the right direction on costs issues.” “He presents his cases well and secures excellent outcomes.”

Chambers UK 2019 described Paul as “a forward thinking practitioner with gravitas beyond his years.”  Clients are “equally impressed with his abilities   in technical matters and on his feet”, praising him for his “strong opinions and advice” and “good grasp of technical issues.”

Previously, Chambers UK 2018 said “Paul has a wealth of technical knowledge and is an articulate and very persuasive advocate who can think on his feet and   deal with any costs matter, no matter how large or technical.”

In the Legal 500 2018 Paul is said to be ‘Fiercely intelligent and a very robust advocate.’

Paul was described in Chambers UK 2015 as: “… an exceptional advocate, always very well organised and prepared, and very persuasive.”

In Chambers UK 2017, Paul is said to be “very knowledgeable in respect of the costs arena.”

In Chambers UK 2016, Paul was described as “robust and effective. He knows when to make the right points, when to push and when to stop talking, which is a skill” and having “great expertise and knowledge regarding costs law and a great way of putting costs arguments.”

  • Paul is one of only three barristers to qualify as a Costs Lawyer and Commissioner for Oaths.
  • Paul is a qualified mediator and CADR Panel Member.

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