The Reform of Civil Litigation
In this new text, Lord Justice Jackson provides a concise explanation of his civil justice and costs reforms, ensuring practitioners can find clear and practical guidance on how they fit together.
Lord Justice Jackson’s reforms had the objective of reducing litigation costs and delay, thereby promoting access to justice. This is the firsthand record of what the reforms aimed to achieve and a review of their success to date, drawing lessons from the process.
Key points covered in the reforms include:-
- Abolition of the recoverable ‘success fee’ which allowed up to a 100% fee uplift, which had to be paid by the unsuccessful party, as well as any after-the-event insurance premium. The reforms meant that solicitors can operate on a contingency fee basis, to be agreed upon with clients as a percentage of the damages awarded; which may be up to 25% in personal injury cases as part of a Damages Based Agreement or the success fee is deducted from damages.
- Increasing general damages by 10%.
- A new test of proportionality – again designed to curb litigation costs, essentially by permitting judges to disallow fees that are disproportionate to case complexity or value.
- Banning referral fees paid by solicitors to obtain personal injury clients.
- Introduction of Qualified One-way Costs Shifting (‘QOCS’).
- Introduction of fixed recoverable costs in the fast track and costs management above the fast track.
- Promotion of judicial continuity or docketing wherever possible.
- Controlling disclosure and e-disclosure more effectively, so that the costs of the exercise are proportionate to the issues in dispute.
- Introduction of more robust case management and tougher enforcement of court orders.
- Streamlining the processes for assessing costs at the end of a case.
- Promotion of ADR as a cost-effective form of dispute resolution.
|Publisher:||Sweet & Maxwell|