Lord Justice Jackson has urged the government to ditch one of the final exemptions to his civil justice reforms.
Speaking at the 2015 Mustill lecture in Leeds, Jackson said the exemption for insolvency proceedings should not continue, as firms affected have had ‘more than enough’ time to prepare for changes.
In February, the Ministry of Justice said it would delay dropping the exemption – due to happen in 2015 – ‘for the time being’. A subsequent report of the likely effect of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) on insolvency litigation found many cases of recovery against rogue directors would not get off the ground if subject to the new rules.
But Jackson said the 2015 timescale for dropping the exemption should stand and described recoverability of after-the-event insurance and success fees – both scrapped in LASPO – as ‘an instrument of oppression, which is liable to crush defendants who have a good defence’.