Law Society launches ‘Civil Justice March’ roadshow

The Law Society last night hosted the first of a series of road show events for members on Government cost reforms affecting civil litigation, particularly personal injury claims.
Desmond Hudson, Chief Executive of the Law Society, said: “The forthcoming costs reforms will have a serious impact on many solicitors’ firms and on clients’ abilities to make compensation claims. These events are aimed at all solicitors and their staff who deal with civil litigation, particularly personal injury claims, although the reforms are not limited to that area of work. Many bodies have lobbied vigorously to oppose or mitigate aspects of their reforms. But the government has proceeded to implement its proposals with only minor changes.”
In a hard hitting presentation at the first roadshow event in Chancery Lane, Desmond Hudson said:
“On behalf of the profession, I’m angry. Angry that insurers’ advice to government seems to go unchallenged.
Angry that many solicitors who work hard for their clients are going to struggle – some firms will undoubtedly fold.
But I am most angry that in all the spurious talk about fraudulent claims, many innocent victims with real, debilitating injuries will lose out. They will not get the redress they deserve; the individuals and companies at fault will have fewer incentives to correct their behaviour.
“However, anger isn’t enough. We must explain better the role of solicitors, to evidence the value we add, to our clients, to society, to justice. We will redouble our efforts to engage with Government and parliamentarians, and with others who influence policy. And we also will help our members to adapt to the new paradigm, the new rules, which is the purpose of this month’s regional road shows.”
The eleven roadshow events, from Cardiff to Colchester, Exeter to Leeds will help to explain the impact of the changes on solicitors and their clients, including:
· Non-recoverability of CFA success fees and ATE (after the event) premiums
· Introduction of contingency fees for contentious business
· Referral fee ban in personal injury
· Introduction of Qualified One Way Costs Shifting in personal injury claims
· Changes to the rules on Part 36 and Proportionality
· Extension of the RTA (road traffic accident) portal to employer and public liability (EL/PL) claims
· Fixed costs for all portal and fast track RTA and EL/PL claims
· Costs management and budgeting in all multi track claims
In addition to the Civil Justice roadshow events, the Law Society will publish new and revised practice notes. A work group has also been established to devise new model CFA (conditional fee agreements) and DBA (damages based agreements).
Details of the events, which are free to members of the Law Society Civil Justice Section and just £18 to other Law Society members, are available on the Law Society website.
5 March 2013

This entry was posted in Law Society - National, Legal Aid and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply