Jackson reforms delayed to April 2013

The government has pushed back the start date of its significant changes to the litigation funding landscape from October this year, to April 2013.

Lord Justice Jackson in his Review of Civil Litigation Costs: Final Report recommended various measures including the abolition of recovery by a winning litigant from his opponent of both the success fee payable under a conditional fee agreement ("CFA") and any after the event ("ATE") insurance premium taken out to pay an opponent's costs in case of failure. He also recommended allowing contingency fee agreements, called damages based agreements or "DBA's", whereby lawyers would be entitled to a share in their client's damages in the event of a successful case. These particular measures were included in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders ("LASPO") Bill, which is still proceeding through the House of Lords.

However there had been concerns expressed about the tight timetable, and in announcing the delayed start date of April 2013, Lord Wallace of Tankerness said that the government wished to get the details of the new regulations and rules involved right, and they were conscious that stakeholders needed appropriate notice of when the changes would be implemented and how the details would affect them.

Various amendments to the clauses in the LASPO Bill dealing with the above measures have been tabled in the Lords but the government has so far resisted them all.

For further information, please visit the parliament website. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201212/ldhansrd/text/120130-0001.htm#1201309000278

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