Major reform ahead
“May you live in interesting times” – Ancient Chinese curse
Lord Justice Jackson has been appointed to look at options to extend fixed recoverable costs much more widely. He has until 31 July 2017 to complete the review. The review has been agreed with the government “and will inform its public consultation on proposed reforms, which will follow the review after consideration of its recommendations”. He will formally commence his review in January 2017, but is inviting written submissions on this topic immediately.
The terms of reference are “to develop proposals for extending the present civil fixed recoverable costs regime in England and Wales so as to make the costs of going to court more certain, transparent and proportionate for litigants” and “to consider the types and areas of litigation in which such costs should be extended, and the value of claims to which such a regime should apply”.
In separate news, the Ministry of Justice has announced it is to press ahead with radical personal injury reforms aimed at curbing a “rampant compensation culture”. Options being considered include:
- Scraping the right to compensation, or capping the recoverable amount, for minor whiplash injuries;
- Introducing a transparent tariff system of compensation payments for claims with more significant injuries;
- Raising the limit for cases in the small claims court for all personal injury claims from £1,000 to £5,000; and
- Banning offers to settle claims without medical evidence. All claims would need a report from a MedCo-accredited medical expert before any pay-out.
The consultation will run until 6 January 2017.