Jackson opposition

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Readers' comments (9)

  • I entirely agree with David Wilby QC. The effect of removing the recoverability of success fees from the opponent and reducing the success fee payable by the client appears not to have been fully thought through by Jackson, or this effect has been under-estimated. Claimants will get less damages and some claimants will not get a solicitor to take on their case at all. If the new Government implements this they should call the new statute the Prevention of Access to Justice Act 2011.

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  • The introduction of CFAs created a flawed system of civil justice because the concept of "no win no fee" was interpreted by many speculative Claimants and solicitors as "take a punt because you have nothing to lose". Taken together with easy access to CFI policies that were frequently paid for by high interest loans, it allowed The Accident Group and others with a similar business model to encourage vulnerable individuals to pursue spurious claims, causing Defendants to spend a great deal of money - often unrecoverable - in trying to defend them. The succesful Claimants also were occasionaly left worse off after their experience of pursuing a claim, with their liability to pay unrecoverable interest on the loans to pay their CFI premium being greater than their awards of compensation.

    The proposed reforms would just make a bad situation worse. In effect it would create a system of contingency fees while doing nothing to remove the "nothing to lose" ethos that we have seen in recent years.

    The system does need to be reformed, but in a way that affects the availability and cost of conditional fee insurance, rather than in the removal of the success fee.

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  • I tend to agree with Anon 2:38. Whilst there may be the odd case like this where CFA's do provide access to justice they are more than cancelled out by the thousands of cases where CFA's and ATE insurance at ruinous premiums are effectively used as a form of extortion.

    Many defendants settle CFA financed cases not because they are genuine and deserving cases but because they can't take what may be only a very minor risk of losing and getting wiped out by a costs order allowing fees of £500 an hour or more.

    It's never healthy to offer something for nothing, but that's precisely what the current CFA regime does. To someone on a low income the prospect of a couple of thousand quid for pretending to have been injured is an irresistible temptation.

    CFA's are an open invitation to fraud, and there are all too many bent claimants and bent solicitors willing to get their snouts in the trough. The sooner Jackson's reforms are implemented the better off we'll all be.

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  • Vote Conservative, as they are the only party opposed to the Jackson review and Jack Straw's campaign against Claimant lawyers.

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  • Re Anon 22-Apr-2010 @ 3.55pm;
    I think you'll find that shadow justice minister Henry Bellingham hailed the Jackson report as a ‘remarkable magnum opus’. At least Jack Straw is only talking about implementing parts of it.

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  • It makes you wonder what has initiated this 're-think'... At a time when payouts are very precisely worked out and often structured specifically to the care needs of claimants, to then say 'but 25% of that has to subsequently be taken away, even though you won', just doesn't make sense.

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  • Jackson does not have any relevant experience in most of the aspects of litigation funding in which he is dabbling.

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  • The last person who should be undertaking a review of the CFA system, or indeed any aspect of the costs system, is a senior judge. As Anonymous 1.52 points out, first they have no idea what they're talking about and secondly the hostility of the Court of Appeal in particular to CFAs has long been apparent.

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  • From a commercial / property litigator's perspective, the Jackson review is a farce. Rather than meddling with what the Court awards and messing around with justice, why not cap the recoverable success fee at a lower percentage, produce a formula for capping recoverable insurance premiums and get a proper grip of recoverable hourly rates. The heart of the real complaint is that Claimants' lawyers are milking it which, for a variety of reaons, is absolute nonsense. Let Jackson litigate for years without pay and see how he feels when he gets a trifling reward.

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