The Consultation on extending the applicability of fixed recoverable costs to most civil cases with a value of up to £100,000 has now commenced, due to run until 6th June 2019.
The Ministry of Justice will now consult on the Jackson Supplemental Report on Fixed Costs proposals, with all types of civil cases excluding clinical negligence and claims in the business and property Courts to be included. The proposals arise out of recommendations made by Lord Justice Jackson almost two years ago now.
The proposals are however more limited in scope than those recommended by Lord Justice Jackson, not only with the proposed limit scaled back from £250,000 to £100,000 but the proposed introduction of a new ‘intermediate track’ being dropped too. The proposals do however suggest an extension of the range of the current Fast Track up to £100,000 to tie in with the extension of the fixed recoverable costs regime.
The Government will also look to implement fixed costs for noise induced hearing loss claims up to a value of £25,000, as was recommended by the Civil Justice Council in 2017, such cases currently being entirely excluded from the fixed costs regime irrespective of value.
The Ministry of Justice also proposes an uplift of 35% on the fixed costs for the purposes of Part 36 where an offer to settle is made by one side but not beaten by the other at Trial. The consultation further asks whether there should be an uplift in costs where one party has acted unreasonably. A ‘London weighting’ of 12.5% uplift, for parties living in the capital or instructing London lawyers, is included in the proposals.
It is also proposed that costs budgeting come into force for judicial reviews where the costs of a party are likely to exceed £100,000.
Justice Secretary David Gauke is supportive of the proposals and has stated ‘One of the major concerns about embarking on litigation is the fear of adverse costs: the requirement by a losing party to pay the other side’s costs… It is important that these costs are proportionate to the sums in issue. In order to ensure that ordinary people can engage in civil litigation without fear of incurring ruinous costs, where possible we must control legal costs in advance. This provides certainty and transparency for all involved.’
The results of the consultation are yet to be seen but it seems clear that the Government is determined to implement Jackson’s recommendations, albeit initially in a less radical way than he proposed in 2017. One thing is certain, change is coming and Plexus will continue to be at the forefront of adopting to the changing civil litigation market and keeping our Clients up to date and advised on how to continue to protect their best interests in these changing times.
If you would like to know more about this matter, please speak to your contact at Plexus Law:
Tim Roberts, Commercial Director
T: 0207 398 9809 | M: 07831 686 264 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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