Civil litigation reforms

There’s some good news for the region’s businesses as costs awarded in civil litigation cases are now properly capped and governed. But this could also result in a substantial increase in the volume of claims, and some serious legal headaches for local firms. The proposed changes could stimulate a wave of weak and long standing claims – even fraudulent and speculative ones – and firms are being warned to make sure they are ready.

Following a review by Lord Justice Jackson in to spiraling costs awarded in civil litigation – some of which over-shadow the actual value of the claim – the Government reforms took effect from 1st April 2013. The aim is to make legal cost claims more proportionate, and control “no win, no fee” cases which distort the merit of the case and the eventual outcome for defendants.

The proposed fixed fee regime where there is early admission and settlement could prove a good thing for companies. However, experts in our claims team are warning local firms that there are some pitfalls and dangers to the reforms, and it is vital they collect relevant information, review any likely outstanding potential claims against them and seek advice.