Legal Cost Specialists

Fixed fees for clinical negligence claims

Another massive step in the direction of fixed fees across the board with the announcement the government intends to consult on introducing fixed fees for clinical negligence claims of up to £250,000, with it envisaged they will be introduced in October 2016.

And there was people worrying about the introduction of a new bill of costs format.

14 thoughts on “Fixed fees for clinical negligence claims”

  1. If that level of fixed costs is introduced it is hard to see an argument against that level of fixed costs being introduced to all types of civil claims – queue 80% shrinkage in market and mass redundancies – bad times indeed.
    Jackson must really hate what Costs Lawyers bring to the party as he swiftly closes down each and every avenue of work streams

  2. Jackson wanted a German system of fixed costs across the board as long ago as 2009. It seems to me that fixed costs is going to be the punishment for the profession complaining about the budgeting regime.

  3. i firmly believe that alot of the Jackson reforms were aimed at reducing the government bill in clin neg but they failed miserably owing to the actual work and cost involved. as such this was inevitable. just makes me think that the belief that the reforms were set up to fail with a view to forcing through fixed costs was the correct analysis if it all. shocking really

  4. It is essential in my view to stress the effect that fixed costs in PI had on our industry and the number of firms that went to the wall following this and the fact that fixed costs at this level for clin neg is likely to have a similar effect thus putting many more lawyers out of work and making it more difficult for those at uni now to get training contracts! We must all stress that whilst we accept that a level of fixed fees should be bought in for Clin Neg the figure of £250,000 is just too high particularly as the NHSLA fight even the most straightforward of cases. It will actually force lawyers to issue proceedings earlier to get matters out of NHSLA hands and into the hands of lawyers when a more sensible approach is often taken. This will put more pressure on the Courts and given the hike in court fees will result in higher costs anyway than might otherwise be incurred.
    This is just two of the arguments against fixed costs at this level but there are many, many more however most of these were ignored by the government in the post Jackson fray so I suspect they will be ignored in this consultation too but that does not mean those arguments should not be reiterated. Even the mega sized firms will have difficulty dealing with the reduction in costs fixed costs at this level will lead to and inevitably redundancies will result. If you are starting a career in law PI and Clin Neg law is certainly not an area to go into these days. Thank goodness I only have another 7 years to go to retirement!!

  5. It’s time for the ACL to take a stand and prepare a strong rebuttal on behalf of its members.

    If any issues were crying out for its ‘intervention’, it is those relating to J-codes and these absurd proposals regarding fixed fees.

  6. The ACL is toothless. Always has been and always will. Nothing that they can or will do will stop the gradual move to fixed costs across the board.

  7. abcde, has hit the nail on the head, It was said on this blog last year, you have all been hoodwinked & bamboozled, the rules were not designed to succeed, they were designed to bring in fixed costs across the board.

    All these costs negotiation companies that have put themselves out there as costs “experts” but have done nothing to preserve the bigger picture, so your MD or CEO got rich but now you have no future prospects.

    Remember that old paragraph in the White Book something along the lines of “A party was is not required to bring litigation at uneconomic rates” The CPRC should be change this to “A party is now encouraged to bring his claim himself rather than instruct a Solicitor who will gladly take 1/4 of his damages, he must however pay an extortionate Court fee first to issue the claim, he must then navigate any nepotism, if he then has the guts to take his claim to Trial and his opponent happens to be a big company which employs expensive lawyers, he should drop his claim or risk losing his assets” N.B CPRC note for this rule : – Parties are forbidden to in any way seek to rely to rely upon any Human Rights legislation, in the UK the Human Rights Act is now dis-applied save for instances where it can be used poke our noses in the business and affairs of other countries.

  8. The problem with all representative trade associations, be it ACL, Law Society or Legal Execs, is they represent people both sides of the fence, receiving and paying parties. This is demonstrated by the lack of teeth exposed in most judgments involving intervening parties, such as Sarwar v Alam where I suppose some parties wanted to say more or go further, but couldn’t.

    As such, those waiting their trade association’s vociferous opposition, will be waiting forever

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