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Civil Litigation Section

Extending fixed costs regime to £250k could damage access to justice

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People injured through no fault of their own could well lose out on the compensation they deserve if plans to limit the amount of money recovered from legal costs is adopted, the Law Society cautioned after Lord Justice Jackson launched a consultation on his proposals.

Law Society president Robert Bourns said ‘Lord Justice Jackson is proposing to introduce changes to the costs regime which could result in a successful litigant only recovering a pre-determined fixed sum, instead of all of their reasonable legal costs’.

Responding to Lord Justice Jackson’s call for evidence for a review into fixed recoverable costs, Robert Bourns added ’We acknowledge that fixed costs for straightforward, low value claims can offer some assurance for both sides in litigation. They can provide prospective litigants with greater certainty as to their potential liabilities, making it less risky for them to litigate.

‘However, fixing costs for all claims up to £250,000 - a tenfold increase on the current limit - would risk making many cases economically unviable, undermining the principle of justice delivering fairness for all’.

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The Civil Litigation Section will provide you with support, advice, networking opportunities and enable the sharing of best practice with peers.

The current Section Engagement Programme has been created in consultation with the Section Committee and will focus on key issues including:

  • costs
  • budgeting and management
  • court fees
  • access to justice
  • alternative dispute resolution
  • profitability
  • clinical negligence
  • fixed costs
  • J codes
  • adjudication
  • service
  • jurisdiction
  • consumer protection
  • Rome II

These issues will be addressed through a range of activities including: seminars, workshops, webinars, conferences, e-newsletters, magazines amd Twitter.

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