The unintended consequences of Jackson

We all know the headlines: funding changes — no recovery of success fees and after-the-event (ATE) premiums, and contingency fees under damages-based agreements (DBAs) to be allowed; procedural — increased penalties for defendants who fail to beat Part 36 offers, a raft of disclosure options, court intervention in the management of claims and ‘zero tolerance’ for parties who fail to comply; and costs management/budgeting — a strict regime leading to budgets from which it will be difficult to depart. So what can we predict about future claims trends as a result of the changes?

The rules about DBAs are not even clear, and the potential for dissatisfaction with the service provided is likely to be doubled when the payment of costs is coming from the client‟s damages — for the first time since success fees and ATE premiums became recoverable, clients have a interest in what their solicitor is charging. This will result in an increased use of the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) as well as full claims…

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