Woolf reforms: lawyers continue to wrangle over merits a decade on

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  • Despite the fact that perfection is unattainable, but I do believe that we are in the way approaching perfection

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  • Katy Dowell's article highlights the expense of litigation in the UK still there after Woolf's reforms promised so much. As a practicing mediator you might expect me to have a whinge about the accumulation of costs whether by front loading or by dealing with the nitty gritty negotiations used at far too an advanced stage of the litigation. Patrick Sherringham and other lawyers say how beneficial alternative dispute resolution has been to improving access to justice. He says that will be further improved by expanding the funding options for claims. Katy's article doesn't talk about expanding the resolution options outside the courts with a degree of benign reference to mediation. Sure mediation isn't the panacea for dispute resolution; but it's an important option to be used in most cases where direct negotiations fail and at the appropriate time and 'appropriate' t also includes at a stage when costs haven't completely got out of hand, when the options for the parties in a mediation are proscribed by having to secure a route out of the costs morass; but what about adjudication; what about expert determination and all the other speedy cost effective ways us lawyers can offer clients to resolve their disputes? Sure these may not suit the highest value, most complex cases city types are used to. But they do suit many of the claims issued out of the courts today. Let choice play a part in the change of culture envisaged in the Jackson Report.

    Anthony Glaister

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  • wow, i am very impressed after reading this article and now I can go back on my essay )))

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