Massive Litigation Shake-Up Proposed


Lord Justice Jackson’s eagerly awaited final report outlining proposed changes to the British system of civil litigation has been published today and promises a massive shake- up of the current system.
Among the changes proposed are:
  1. The end of the ‘loser pays’ principle in British law. The costs of successful firms are very often contested and the present situation in which an argument abut the law is routinely followed by an argument over costs is clearly not a happy one.
  2. The end of ‘no win, no fee’ agreements by making lawyers’ success fees and the costs of ‘after the event’ insurance premiums paid irrecoverable from the losing defendant. No win, no fee was widely regarded as a panacea when introduced, but in reality has been proved  problematic.
  3. Allowing lawyers to charge contingency fees, by which they receive a percentage of the judgment sum and take the risk of not being paid if the case is not won. In effect, this will replace no win no fee arrangements and should act as a brake on persuing weak cases.
The current pre-action protocols are to be retained and judges are to be encouraged to become more involved with cases to assist in controlling costs.

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