Jackson proposes sweeping reforms to cut litigation costs

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  • If PI lawyers are to be faced with such disincentives, then fewer borderline cases will be taken on and access to justice will be further hindered, will it not?

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  • As the first systematic funder of litigation in the UK, with a track record of investment outcomes established over 7 years and 52 claims, in the UK and US, we are dissatisfied with some of the major recommendations made and believe they will impact negatively on access to justice, particularly for claimants with smaller claims. Specifically: restriction of funders control, potentially inflexible capital restrictions, and the retention of champerty and maintenance.

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  • The claim that ending recoverability of success fees and after-the-event insurance premiums will lead to cost savings  is highly misleading.  The costs will still be there.  They will just shift to the claimant who will have to pay success fees and insurance premiums out of his damages.  And under Sir Rupert’s proposals for one-way costs shifting, the claimant will either pay for an insurance premium out of his damages, or risk paying for expenses such as medical reports and court fees if he loses the claim.  None of this is the case under the current system which works on the ‘polluter pays’ principle.

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  • My feeling is that many clients will find contingency fee agreements attractive because they allow clients to share the risk of litigation with their lawyers.

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  • Access to justice for personal injury claimants has never been better. The No Win No Fee system allows successful claimants, whatever their financial circumstances, to recover all their reasonable costs in full, to receive 100% of their compensation, and also to pay nothing if they lose. Some of the Jackson recommendations would require claimants to make a contribution
    to those costs which would reduce their compensation, in many cases substantially.

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  • This report is a victory for the big insurers. It is a sad day for the injured individuals, who fight them for compensation. Disturbing reading.

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  • It is still too early to predict what impact these recommendations if enacted will have on the market. The removal of success fees and ATE premiums is worrying but the flip side is that if properly controlled contingencies might offer a fairer solution. Costs still generate too much uncertainty for the client and I am not sure that these recommendations have done much to dispel that.

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  • If contingency fees are adopted, Lord Jackson's proposals in this area would represent a revolutionary change in public policy and that has got to be good news for commercial litigants. It would allow us to provide our clients with even better access to justice in complex, high value litigation: a simpler and more transparent regime that incentives lawyers to settle cases early and concludes with an actual result for our clients that is proportionate whatever the outcome. This is precisely what our clients want and, if permitted, we are certainly ready to pioneer the use of these arrangements in the highest courts.

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  • I am impartial but I agree with with APIL and Andrew Tucker. As with all such reviews, this had to be seen to be done to appease the dissenters, but the outcome was a predictable one. At best it is anti-competitive, as highlighted by the OFT

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  • The extension of contingency fees will create conflicts of interest between solicitor and client. If an agreement exists for, say, 30% of damages and an offer of settlement of £50,000 is made. If there is a reasonable prospect of the client receiving £75,000 at trial, going to trial involves the solicitor doing a lot more work. Therefore although the solicitor stands to gain 30% of the £75,000 he will have to do more work. He may well therefore push the client to settle rather than go to trial. Hence the conflict.

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