Litigation costs fears to be addressed in new review
The Master of the Rolls, Sir Anthony Clarke, has appointed Lord Justice Rupert Jackson to spearhead a fundamental review into the costs of civil litigation. The review, which will begin in January, will see Jackson review the "rules and principles governing the costs of civil litigation" and follows running efforts by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to bring the costs of civil litigation under control.The latest measure follows a meeting between Sir Anthony and Parliamentary under-secretary of state Bridget Prentice last week to discuss the issue.Areas to be addressed include the effect case management procedures have on costs and the impact of current cost rules on the behaviour of both parties and lawyers.Jackson will be assisted in the review by a small group of assessors drawn from the judiciary, legal profession and an economist. A report listing recommendations will be submitted to the Master of the Rolls in December 2009. The review follows an MoJ consultation looking at cost capping, which closed last week (24 October). The cost and length of trials has been looked into by other members of the profession with the Aikens BCCI working party introducing reforms intended to streamline complex litigation. The collapse of the BCCI creditors' 10-year legal battle with the Bank of England in 2005, which became the most expensive trial in UK legal history, controversially generated fees in excess of £110m.
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