negligence cases
negligence cases

Counting the costs | Feature

PI clin neg RT

At the table (left, clockwise)

Eduardo Reyes, The Law Society Gazette (chair)

Sharon Allison, Ashtons, SCIL

John McQuater, Switalskis, APIL

David Haynes, ARAG plc

Nicola Critchley, DWF, FOIL

Richard Miller, The Law Society

Ben Collins KC, Old Square Chambers

Beth Heath, Lanyon Bowdler

John Hyde, The Law Society Gazette

Gillian Gadsby, Gadsby Wicks

Catherine Bennett, Capsticks

Anne Kavanagh, Irwin Mitchell

Krishna Kotecha, Moosa Duke

Vinod Kathuria, TULA Medical Experts

Paul Rumley, RWK Goodman, SCIL

Richard Geraghty, Irwin Mitchell

Emily Formby KC, 39 Essex Chambers, PIBA

Malcolm Johnson, Lime Solicitors

The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act has a significant birthday this year. It is 10 years since the 2012 legislation came into force, with huge consequences for civil justice. Personal injury and clinical negligence cases were among those that lost most public funding, which was cut through part 1 of the act. Those cuts went hand in hand with reforms of civil justice based on a review and report by Sir Rupert Jackson.

The Jackson reforms ended the recoverability of the ‘success fee’ that attached to conditional fee agreements, meaning it was no longer among the costs that could be recouped from a losing defendant. The reforms also enhanced the importance of case management and costs budgeting by placing discussions and agreements relating to both elements close to the start of a case’s conduct. Meanwhile, the principle of ‘qualified one-way costs shifting’ (QOCS) provided some protection for claimants against an adverse result. That principle has since been eroded.

Access to justice

The loss of legal aid for most personal injury and clinical negligence cases is lamented by claimant lawyers and campaign groups, but law firms have adapted and continued to

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