Law Soc and LAG issue call for fixed cost delays

The Law Society and the Legal Action Group (LAG) have called on the Government to delay the introduction of fixed costs for fast track cases under the Woolf reforms.

The Government originally proposed that trial costs under the fast track – with awards up to £15,000 – should be pegged at £350 where the award was less than £3,000, £500 for cases between £3,000 and £10,000 and £750 for cases over £10,000.

But in June the Lord Chancellor's Department (LCD) suggested delaying the plan in order to carry out a fundamental review of the causes of the high cost of litigation. The Law Society and LAG supported this suggestion in their official responses to LCD consultation on the issue.

Vicki Chapman, LAG head of policy, said: “Delay would provide an opportunity for monitoring and research of the fast track in operation.”

The Law Society voiced concerns that current fast track proposals could amount to a “charter for the wealthy” limiting the amount a person could recover from a wealthy opponent, such as insurers.