Reforms civil litigation costs
On 14 January 2010 Lord Justice Jackson's Final Report on his Review of Civil Litigation Costs was issued. In accordance with its remit to promote access to justice the report is freely available on the internet and can be located using the following link.
The purpose of this section of our website is to provide a summary of the report and a review of the overall proposals. It is not a definitive guide as to what will happen, but it highlights areas of law which are likely to change over time as a result of the review.
The review has to be taken into context with the wider political scenario. Legislation is required to implement many of the proposals. It is unlikely that the present government will have the time or desire to place this on the agenda prior to a General Election. Once General election has taken place then the Government, of whatever hue, is likely to have more pressing issues than the implementation of the proposals.
Where implementation of the proposals requires a change to the Court Rules then these would normally go out to consultation of the legal profession before any changes are made, particularly given the nature of the proposals. We would not therefore expect to see any changes to the Civil Procedure Rules before September 2010 at the very earliest.
Finally, certain of the proposals will require changes to the professional rules of solicitors for implementation. The Law Society is already in the process of considering costs issues and recently scrapped the remuneration certificate procedure as part of this. However, any major changes to the professional rules require Government approval before they can be made so there is likely to be delay also.
Lord Justice Woolf reviewed civil procedure in the mid-1990's and his final report was provided in July 1996. The Civil Procedure Rules were introduced in April 1999. The current review should not create wholesale panic, but should be seen as a template for the future of litigation.
The report runs to 584 pages. We will be posting our summaries and observations as fast as we can and appreciate your patience in the meantime.
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