Expansion of fixed costs regime for legal claims to be “significantly” scaled back

9 August, 2017

Plans to apply fixed costs for all legal claims up to the value of £250,000 have been “significantly” scaled back, the Law Society has reported.

Instead, Lord Justice Jackson has confirmed that fixed recoverable costs should apply to claims valued up to a much more modest £25,000.

He said a further fixed recoverable costs regime for some cases of complexity could extend up to £100,000 in the future.

Law Society president, Joe Egan, said that the move was a positive one for the profession.

“Lord Justice Jackson’s views are of huge interest to all involved in the civil justice system. The outcome of this review is good news for solicitors and consumers alike – a ‘one size fits all’ approach to the regime would have risked making many cases economically unviable,” he said.

Mr Egan warned that if the sum for legal costs is fixed then, in some cases, the costs that a successful party could recover will fall “significantly short” of the costs they have incurred.

This would likely result in the solicitor meeting the costs out of his or her own pocket, or work carried out solely with recoverable costs in mind.

Mr Egan added: “We’re pleased that Lord Justice Jackson has listened to the strong feelings from solicitors and has reduced the scale of his original plans. In particular, we welcome his recognition that clinical negligence claims require a bespoke process, and claims should only be fixed up to £25k – this is in line with Department of Health proposals.

“Clinical negligence claims are brought by people who have been injured through no fault of their own as a result of negligent care. These patients need specialist legal advice to help them get the compensation they are entitled to in law,” he said.

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