'No win, no fee' reforms set for April

Lord Irvine says the reforms will ensure that legal costs will not eat into compensation pay outs and it would be easier to bring a case which did not involve a money claim.

Under current arrangements, litigants are deterred from using the 'no win, no fee' process because the uplifted legal fees demanded by lawyers for taking the risks cuts into compensation.

To cover the opponent's costs if they lose, litigants also need to buy insurance – a cost which is usually unrecoverable.

Under the changes, the uplift in fees and insurance costs will be recoverable from the loser