January 18, 2013
Spencers Solicitors director, John Spencer speaks to The Times on whether Lord Justice Jackson's proposals for cutting expense and delays in the civil courts may have the opposite effect.
Lord Justice Jackson's brief was to overhaul the cost of litigation and to promote access to justice at proportionate costs. Encompassed in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) is the abolition of recovery of a success fees and after the event insurance premiums from the losing side. The act also caps success fees at 25%; a formal ban on referral fees and increases general damages by 10%.
As the Ministry of Justice put it:
"People will still be able to use CFAs but will have to pay their lawyer's success fee and any ATE insurance (if taken out) themselves."
John Spencer, a leading personal injury solicitor says:
"Overall, LASPO will set up a regime in which more complex cases are fast-tracked, combined with a proposal to slash by more than half fixed costs recoverable by lawyers. But the result of oversimplified procedure and potentially inadequate representation could well be that clients are denied justice."
Read the full article on The Times website Will costs reforms limit access to justice? (subscription required)