Important changes to English litigation costs — part 1
By Jonathan Haydn-Williams
An exchange from Shakespeare’s pen probably still represents a widely held view that lawyers will do anything for money and nothing without it. It is certainly the case that English common law developed, over centuries, the doctrine that a lawyer should not conduct litigation on the basis that he would be paid only in the event of success: rather than ‘no win, no fee’ it was a case of ‘no fee, no breath’.
However, over recent years, partly to increase access to justice and partly to reduce the government’s legal aid bill, English law has been changed to allow conditional fees (‘no win, no fee’ or ‘no win, lower fee’). Allied to this has been the development of insurance against the risk of losing and having to pay the opponent’s legal costs (known as ‘After the Event’ or ATE insurance when purchased after an event giving rise to a claim has occurred).
A series of controversial and significant changes are shortly to be introduced which, depending on one’s viewpoint, may reduce access to justice for some, whilst increasing it for others and place some losing parties in a fairer position, but some in a worse one. The changes are to (or are likely to) take effect on or after 1 April 2013. If they affect you, you may need to take action well before that date. In particular…
If you are registered and logged in to the site, click on the link below to read the rest of the Goodman Derrick briefing. If not, please register or sign in with your details below.
Sign in or Register to continue reading this article
It's quick, easy and free!
It takes just 5 minutes to register. Answer a few simple questions and once completed you’ll have instant access.Register now
Why register to The Lawyer
In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.
Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.
Receive your pick of The Lawyer's daily and weekly email newsletters, tailored by practice area, region and job function.
More relevant to you
To continue providing the best analysis, insight and news across the legal market we are collecting some information about who you are, what you do and where you work to improve The Lawyer and make it more relevant to you.
News from Goodman Derrick
Briefings from Goodman Derrick
This note is relevant to office holders who have, or may have, claims that, prior to April 2015, they ought — or wish — to bring against any third party.
The Court of Appeal has twice this year given judgments in the case Coventry and others v Lawrence and another, first in February and more recently in July.
Analysis from The Lawyer
Active financial management is vital, but with firms looking more closely at the process of debt and fee collection, the personal touch still counts
The lure of the law can kick in at any stage of life. We speak to four individuals who have made a radical switch to a legal career