So, are the proposals contained in the final Jackson Report as dramatic as some were expecting? Oh, yes.
- Success fees and after the event insurance premiums to be irrecoverable between the parties (this would mean the end for most ATE insurers);
- To offset the effects of this for claimants, general damages awards for personal injuries should be increased by 10%;
- Referral fees should be scrapped (this would mean an end for claim management firms);
- Qualified ‘one way costs shifting’ – claimants would not usually be liable for a defendant’s costs if a claim is unsuccessful (as long as they have behaved reasonably), removing the need for after the event insurance (and the need for some costs drafting work);
- Fixed costs to be set for ‘fast track’ cases (those with a claim up to £25,000) to provide certainty of legal costs (this would mean an end for many costs negotiators and costs draftsmen);
- Allowing lawyers to enter into contingency fee agreements, where lawyers are only paid if a claim is successful, normally receiving a percentage of actual damages won.