Jackson reforms implemented — but much ambiguity remains, says Hogan Lovells

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The ‘Jackson reforms’ on civil costs and funding will become law on 1 April 2013, but much ambiguity remains around a number of key issues, according to Hogan Lovells. The Jackson regime marks the most important overhaul of civil litigation procedure since the Civil Procedure Rules were introduced in 1999. The main changes to the rules are to case management, cost management and Part 36 offers, and will have a significant impact on litigators, the judiciary and court users.

Nick Atkins, partner at Hogan Lovells, commented: 

“The reforms have been widely and hotly debated and changes were still being made only this week. They could have a significant and positive impact if applied correctly – cost estimates can be difficult to provide at the early stages of litigation and the reforms should go some way to helping with this process.

“Unfortunately the way in which the reforms arrived on the statute books has been highly unsatisfactory. Not only were the new rules and practice directions introduced at the very last minute, in piecemeal fashion, with virtually no warning or consultation, but more alarmingly, it was obvious immediately that many contained mistakes, lacunae and ambiguities…”

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