Related Legal Updates

The Jackson Reforms

by Fleur Turrington | Apr 05, 2013

The long awaited Jackson Reforms have now come into force as of 1 April 2013. The main changes are:

 

1.  Contingency fees or damage based agreements (DBA’s).

Solicitors can conduct litigation in return for a share of the damages. This is subject to various caps depending upon the nature of the litigation. This will most commonly be used in higher value cases.

 

2. Part 36 offers.

An additional sanction will apply to offers made by claimants which is equivalent to 10% of damages. This will be tapered down for larger claims so will have less impact on higher value cases.

 

3.  Experts.

In cases where parties are seeking permission for expert evidence to be used, the parties must identify the actual issues that the expert will address rather than just the fields of expertise. The parties must also provide a cost estimate.

 

4.  Cost management.

Cost management procedures apply to multi track cases that have been commenced on or after 1 April 2013 with the exception of the Commercial Court and claims for more than £2m in the Chancery Division, Technology and Construction Court and Mercantile Courts.

 

5.  Conditional Fee Agreements.

The success fees that previously attached to conditional fee agreements are now no longer recoverable from the losing party.

 

6.  After the Event Insurance

Previously after the event insurance premiums were recoverable from the losing party, however this is no longer the case.

 

7.  Proportionality.

The Courts will now adopt a new test of proportionality when determining the costs that can be recovered from the losing party where as previously the costs were assessed based on reasonableness. The costs need to bear a reasonable relationship to the value and complexity of the case and these will be examined closely by the Courts. This rule change will have the greatest impact on small to medium sized cases.

 

The Jackson Reforms are now part of all litigation, having the biggest changes to the personal injury market. Jackson LJ intended his recommendations on costs to be “a coherent package of interlocking reforms, designed to control costs and promote access to justice”. The above is just a very brief summary of the main changes that have been made since 1 April 2013 in relation to costs but if you have a dispute where you require assistance or want further information on the affects of Lord Justice Jackson’s reforms on costs please contact Fleur Turrington, solicitor in our Dispute Resolution Department, on 01295 204136 – email : fturrington@se-law.co.uk

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