The defendant costs specialists

Jackson Update

By on Mar 29, 2010 | 0 comments

The rumour mill continues unabated as to whether Lord Justice Jackson’s legal costs review will ever see the light of day.
 
I attended a conference the other week where one of the other speakers informed the audience that Jackson LJ was to take no further part in implementation of his report and would be undertaking no further interviews on the subject.  This suggested that the Report was about to kicked into the long-grass and he had either jumped or been pushed first.
 
Then, on 17 March 2010, the following announcement was made on the Judiciary of England and Wales website:
 
“Following publication of the final report of Lord Justice Jackson’s comprehensive review, the senior judiciary has considered its response to the report. The Judicial Executive Board has agreed to support the recommendations of the final report, and has established a Judicial Steering Group, with a membership as follows:
 
  • Lord Neuberger, Master of the Rolls
  • Lord Justice Maurice Kay, Chairman of the Judicial Studies Board
  • Lord Justice Moore Bick, Deputy Head of Civil Justice
  • Lord Justice Jackson 
The Steering Group will lead on judicial contributions to implementation of the review, recognising that much of the task will fall to Government, as key reforms require primary legislation. They will provide direction on areas where the judiciary is itself in the lead for implementation, such as case and costs management.”
 
This, obviously, totally contradicted what was being said only a few days before.
 
Now the Law Society Gazette has reported that a Conservative government is opposed to a number of Jackson LJ’s key recommendations including a blanket ban on personal injury referral fees.
 
Shadow justice minister Henry Bellingham said a Tory government would consult with the profession on all of Jackson’s recommendations, about which he said “some are good news, but others aren’t workable”.  Bellingham expressed concern over the proposal to prevent successful claimants recovering success fees and ATE premiums from defendants. He also expressed concern about Jackson’s proposal to implement one-way costs shifting.
 
Bellingham said that if success fees and ATE insurance premiums were non-recoverable, “people might find that solicitors won’t take their case”. He said that one-way costs-shifting could encourage unnecessary litigation, but supported Jackson’s recommendation for improved costs budgeting and a more active role for judges in costs management.
 
Make of all that what you will.
 

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