Industry & TeCSA News

Dear Member,

Re THE IMPACT OF THE JACKSON REFORMS ON COSTS AND CASE MANAGEMENT

The Civil Justice Council (CJC) is holding a conference on Friday 21 March 2014 at 1, Victoria Street, London SW1 (see attached flyer here) to consider the impact of the ‘Jackson reforms’ one year after their implementation.

The CJC invites written submissions (as do I from you to me) on the practical impact of the reforms by Friday 7 March but we have an EOT to 14 March! And in particular on:
    
•    the types of cases being taken on (and not being taken on) by law firms;

•    the funding of civil litigation in the light of changes to CFAs and the introduction of DBAs and QOCS, [not a lot happening is my view] and on

•    experiences of costs budgeting and the management of cases through the courts.

Can I ask you to take a look at the attached and email me (and or electronically to cjc@judiciary.gsi.gov.uk) with your own and your firms actual experiences, particularly in the three above areas actual and perhaps anecdotal.

I am supposing not many of our members can comment on the new world of the five below, but please surprise me:

1.    DBAs/ hybrid DBAs -   it seems that there is no imminent prospect of changes to the damages-based agreement (DBA) regulations to explicitly allow hybrid DBAs. Are any of you using them? Great pity as Ramsey J had indicated he agreed the rules on damages-based agreements should be changed to free up solicitors to offer a mixture of contingency fees and hourly rates in commercial cases.

2.    CFAs - word on the street is a declining use of conditional fee agreements, what say you?

3.    ATE – that looks a near dead duck too – not too surprising perhaps as since last April in most cases success fees and after-the-event insurance premiums must be paid by claimants and cannot be recovered from opponents. Thus, the damages pool at the end of a successful claim is reduced by any such costs, leaving less headroom for litigation funders to make a return.  

4.    QOCS - Qualified One-Way Costs Shifting - in personal injury claims, has anyone anything to say or simply not your bag?

5.    Referral fees  - as you know in April 2013 the ban of referral fees was implemented by LASPO. The prohibition captures all of the main businesses involved – solicitors, claim management companies and insurers. Have you anything to say or like me do you agree the fundamental reform of ‘no win no fee’ conditional fee agreements and a ban on the payment and receipt of referral fees in personal injury cases is a great thing?

 
Have the reforms done anything to enhance access to justice?

I look forward hearing from you.

Best wishes,

 
Simon Tolson
Chairman of TeCSA

PS: By the way, the April 2014 update of the Civil Procedure Rules will contain the outcome of the review of the exemption from mandatory costs management for the specialist civil courts!