Yesterday I wrote on rights of audience.  This led to a great deal of comment on Twitter and a response from an  elderly costs nerd (who wishes to remain anonymous) has commented on this case:

“Your post today about the decision of Deputy District Judge Leach in National Westminster Bank Plc v Smith will I am sure upset many people! If it is right all paralegals, trainee solicitors and costs draftsmen (other than costs lawyers) will have to stop appearing as advocates in the vast majority of hearings in High Court and County Court cases unless, each time they do so, the judge or master hearing that case expressly grants a right of audience to them.
However, is it right to define “in chambers” as meaning “in private”? This is not the view taken by the learned authors of the Queen’s Bench Guide, paragraph 12.1.4 of which states:
References in the CPR and the Practice Directions to hearings being in public or private do not restrict any existing rights of audience or confer any new rights of audience in respect of applications or proceedings which under the rules previously in force would have been heard in court or chambers respectively. Nor is it intended that the new routes of appeal should restrict the advocate’s right of audience, in that a solicitor who appeared in a county court matter which is the subject of an appeal to a High Court Judge would normally be allowed to appear at the appeal hearing. Advocates (and judges) do not wear robes at interim hearings before High Court Judges. Robes are worn for trials and certain other proceedings such as preliminary issues, committals etc.
Elderly Costs Nerd”