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In the introduction to his 2015 annual report published last month, Lord Thomas, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, makes it clear that “our system of justice has become unaffordable to most.”

rosemary-ioannouIn the substance of his report, Lord Thomas makes a number of observations in the context of the costs of civil litigation. Many of those in practice will acknowledge that these observations reflect their day-to-day experience. They certainly reflect ours. They also stand as an important reminder of the central importance of costs to the litigation landscape in the UK today:

“Control over the costs of civil litigation continued to be of the greatest importance. The Jackson review reforms have now bedded down. It appears that there is an improvement in costs management by judges and in costs behaviour by parties. There was sustained emphasis on the need for proportionality between the costs of a case in relation to the value of the claim. However, costs issues continued to be the subject of dispute between parties, and to generate litigation in their own right.”

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