Gerard Stilliard, head of personal injury at Thompsons Solicitors responds to the review.
Lord Justice Jackson’s review of fixed recoverable costs has been published today (Monday 31 July 2017). Click to read the full report.
“Lord Justice Jackson has, based on the evidence before him, limited fixed costs to a new “intermediate” track limit of £100,000 when the relentless pressure from government and the insurance industry was for £250,000, and the exclusion of asbestos-related claims is welcome common sense. Sadly ‘fixed costs’ is still being seen as a panacea (when it in fact only favours one party in a dispute) and costs budgeting has not been given a chance to prove itself when the evidence points in a positive direction.
“Fixed costs reduce access to justice for injured claimants and thus suit insurers; the lower those costs are the more it suits the insurance industry. Insurers successfully upended Jackson’s proposals on the level of fixed costs before and there will now be intensive insurance lobbying to turn the screw on the level of costs in this extended regime. Insurance company lobbyists will be pleased to see an absence of even the most basic requirement - a fixed costs matrix - together with a loose definition of crucial bands, as it gives them an opportunity to exploit the ambiguity to suit their agenda.”
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