Government launches no win, no fee legal consultation

The Government has launched a consultation on proposals for reforming the funding of civil litigation and costs in England and Wales.

The consultation, which seeks views on Lord Justice Jackson’s proposals for reforming conditional fee agreements and other aspects of civil litigation funding and costs, closes on Monday, 14 February, next year.

In his report, published in March, Sir Rupert Jackson called for an end to the CFA system under which claimants’ solicitors in defamation and privacy cases could recover “success fees” – which can sometimes mean doubling their normal fees – and insurance premiums from the losing defendant.

But that move should be balanced by increasing damages by ten per cent and introducing a different system of costs to avoid putting access to justice beyond the reach of those of slender means, he said.

Sir Rupert’s report said CFAs were “the major contributor to disproportionate costs in civil litigation in England and Wales”, and had “two key drivers of costs” – the lawyer’s success fee and the ATE premium, both of which are currently recoverable from a losing defendant.

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