Changes set for litigation landscape
The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) and the new Civil Procedure Rules incorporate most of Lord Justice Jackson’s recommendations in legislation due to come into force in April. These changes are likely to change the legal system dramatically.
- New cost and case management rules
- Bans on referral fees
- Recovery of after-the-event insurance premiums will no longer be available
These reforms are further enforced by the judgement in the Andrew Mitchell MP defamation case, where the Court of Appeal (CoA) rejected an appeal by Mr Mitchell’s lawyer, Atkins Thomas, which restricted him from exceeding his set costs budget of £2,000.
In rejecting the appeal the court has shown that failure to comply with case management timetables will have serious implications. Compliance with the rules and court timetables is very important and solicitors should not be in any doubt about the need for litigation to be conducted efficiently and at proportionate cost.
Guidance by the Court of Appeal has been issued on the approach litigators should take when applying the new civil procedure rule 3.9. There is no doubt that there is a lesson for both clients and their lawyers; that prompt instructions should be given to a solicitor by a client and that solicitors must also comply with the rules or they risk having their case struck out.
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