The Jackson Reforms – PIC’s View
There is no doubt about it, Lord Justice Jackson’s reforms to the recoverable costs structure for legal actions in England and Wales are far-reaching.
In essence, however, his considered opinion has not changed since 2013, and restates a belief that the legal profession should operate a fixed-costs structure for all cases of damages below £250,000.
The fact remains that his reforms will not impact for upwards of four years and, moreover, that the ‘devil will be in the detail’. The proposals do not examine the minutiae of timing, non-qualifying cases, and other such intricacies.
Reuben Glynn, PIC’s Managing Director takes the view that, while PIC firmly supports the principle of fixed costs, this must be dictated by other factors, as well as the quantum of damages itself. He also points out that that fixing recoverable fixed costs does not affect the principle of “solicitor own client” billing.
“When considering the wider principle of fixing costs in damages cases, we need to take into account factors such as the complexity of the litigation, the conduct of the parties and, by no means least, the rule of law and the principle of the public importance of the case itself,” states Reuben Glynn.
He adds: “The rule of law is a fundamental part of the backbone of society in England and Wales. It is every Lawyer’s responsibility to maintain access to justice for all, and I call for all parts of the legal profession to become involved in this debate, to ensure that fixed costs are brought in correctly and appropriately.”
“Furthermore, PIC also supports the wider exploration of a possible CLAF, or Contingent Legal Aid Fund. This concept has been successful in Hong Kong and would be a major part of maintaining access to justice,” he concludes.
LJ Jackson’s speech at the IPA Annual Lecture on 28th January 2016 can be found here.
For interview opportunities with Reuben Glynn, please contact Chris Shaw at Sure Media Relations, as below.
Sure Media Relations Tel: 01484 696 066
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