Financial & Legal News

2013 Jackson Reforms to English litigation

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1 April 2013 will see the implementation of substantial civil justice reforms based on Lord Justice Jackson’s recommendations, following his review of civil litigation costs in England and Wales.

The sweeping reforms, which are intended to promote access to justice at a proportionate cost, will have a major affect on the way litigation is funded and conducted in all courts. The main aims of the reforms are to eliminate methods of funding which increase costs and to create a more efficient litigation procedure.

The key reforms are:

  • Introduction of a new form of litigation funding known as damages based agreements (“DBAs”).
  • Claimants who win their court case will have to pay their own lawyer's "success fee" and any after-the-event insurance (ATE) premiums out of the compensation they are awarded; they will no longer be recoverable from the losing party.
  • Claims worth £100,000 or less will no longer be able to be heard in the High Court and so will come before the County Court (the current limit is £25,000).
  • In the County Court, the small claims limit will be raised from £5,000 to £10,000 with a view to increasing it again to £15,000 subject to evaluation.
  • More robust case management and standard case management directions.
  • Cost management and new proportionality test for recoverable costs.
  • The current 12 pre action protocols are to be reviewed with a view to simplify and shorten them, possibly including a new general pre action protocol and a new pre action protocol for debt claims.
  • Parties seeking permission for expert evidence should provide the court with cost estimates.
  • Possible implementation under the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 of fixed tables for the calculation of attachment of earnings and tracing orders; and the introduction of information orders and information requests.

This summary is not intended to be exhaustive and these measures will be implemented alongside other reforms in April 2013.

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

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