Jackson review reviewed

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Readers' comments (12)

  • We do not have the answers yet but it is clear that one size will not fit all. There seems little appetite for slaying the sacred cow of costs shifting but further inroads are likely to be made in pursuit of access to justice. The Commercial Court may well be left to continue its own reform programme.

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  • It comes as no surprise that Lord Justice Jackson’s interim report is an impressive piece of work, reflecting his intensive investigation in recent months of the issue of legal costs and access to justice in civil proceedings. His report reflects practice both at home and around the globe.

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  • It is important to note that the real work starts now. With the second ‘consultation’ stage of the process underway, more research and discussion is needed, and FOIL is ready and willing to engage with all parties to debate the necessary changes to the system.

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  • We note that the Report does separate issues around the use of ATE insurance in relation to personal injury cases as against other areas of civil and commercial litigation (referred to in the Report as 'commercial cases'), which is a good thing. However, the point is that these issues do not sit in isolation: a key is to understand their interraction with third party funding.

    From the conversations we have had to date with LJ Jackson and his committee, we know that they do recognise that much of the recent innovations in litigation funding, and thus access to justice, have come from the ATE corner of the market. And there is much much more to come - even more comprehensive funding methodoloies that will take to another level entirely the current models that the marketplace is only now starting to become familiar with. These innovations will rely on exactly the kind of interraction between ATE insurance and third party funding referred to above and this is why it is critical that this is fully addressed during the consultation period.

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  • This was always going to be a thought-provoking paper and we welcome Lord Justice Jackson’s openness to comment. It is disappointing, though, to see more references to an increase in the small claims limit, when much time was spent discussing this with the Ministry of Justice, only last year.
     
    We welcomed the opportunity for discussion with Lord Jackson at the beginning of the year and are encouraged by his reference to the need for access to justice.  This detailed and lengthy paper will require our careful consideration over the coming weeks, in consultation with our members.  

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  • Uncertainty over costs is a major concern for companies seeking to resolve disputes. When businesses are less willing to spend money and the cost of litigation is greater, there is a strong argument for risk sharing.

    Law firms must therefore be far more creative about the way they construct their fees if they wish to remain competitive and we welcome Lord Justice Jackson's initial thoughts in provoking this debate. Historically, lawyers have sat in front of their clients, now they need to stand beside them, a position ATE Insurers regularly ourselves in

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  • This report is a laudable attempt to grapple with the difficult issue of litigation costs. However, this is not an area where a one size fits all approach will work, as is helpfully acknowledged in the report.

    Large, complex cases are always expensive and therefore require a different approach, but there is already a vast array of case management machinery available to judges. Ultimately however many new rules are introduced it always comes back to the judge’s ability to manage a case effectively.

    Practitioners should always be receptive to change and improvement but we shouldn’t be thrown off course by a couple of cases in which costs may appear to have been disproportionate. If we want to continue to have a court system which, at its highest level is efficient, fair and the envy of many other jurisdictions, that will come at a price.

    This is not to encourage complacency but to recognise that we have a system that works well in higher value complex cases.

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  • Rome is burning and we have another lengthy report. Great.

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  • Lengthy but admirably thorough, especially given the time Jackson LJ has had. Has to be given any firestorm when proper recommendations come.

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  • Jackson states this should save people millions and Jack Straw has called this a remarkable piece of work. You can say that again, its full to the brim of contradicting statements. So lets not charge the insurers (who if paying is clearly the wrongdoer). I hear champagne glasses clinking!. Lets however take a significant cut of the victims money. Hold on! lets limit the cut it to 25% but then lets increase the awards by 10% so the actual money taken out of the damages is greater. How's that helping? And if you withdraw success fees but replace it with 10% more damages, where's the saving? Is this change for the sake of change?. Its does not end there, lets make the Claimant pay (the insurers of course) higher premiums for homeowners legal insurance to cover a claim that might never happened and what about the Claimant's who cannot afford a home or extra insurance. Sorry, but a fail to see the point and do not consider this enhancing 'Access to Justice'.

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