The government has recently announced its launch of a legal consultation that may effect the “no win, no fee” style of personal injury compensation claims, something that could have serious repercussions for how civil litigation is funded and how costs are paid in both Wales and England.
The consultation will seek views on the proposals put forward by Lord Justice Jackson concerning the reformation of agreements involving conditional fees and other factors taken into account by civil litigation costs and funding. The consultation is scheduled to close on the 14th of February of this coming year.
In his March report, Sir Rupert Jackson made a call for the CFA system to end. As the personal injury solicitors involved in privacy and defamation cases are currently eligible to recover a “success fee” that would result in their normal fee being doubled, the source of the fee – the losing side – is all for changing that particular dynamic.
Personal injury lawyers have been very wary of the incoming changes to the industry, but the move towards limiting the rewards that no win no fee lawyers are privy to are in theory to be balanced out by a ten per cent increase in damages. Additionally the introduction of a different cost system could avoid making access to justice farther out of reach for those claimants that do not have the means to afford the kind of legal representation that they need.
The report penned by Sir Rupert revealed that one major contributor to the lack of proportionate costs in civil litigation in Wales and England are chartered financial analysts. Sir Rupert also stated in his report that costs were driven by two key factors, of the ATE premium and the success fee of the lawyer, both of which can be recovered from a defendant that loses the case.