A fixed costs regime without suitable fail-safes in place for the provision of expert evidence will be particularly harmful for SMEs, family businesses, and the self-employed, explains Richard Formby
The prospect of fixed recoverable legal costs for all civil litigation claims, of a reasonably substantial quantum level, is now squarely on the horizon. While already an objective for clinical negligence claims (said to be up to £250,000, but time will tell as to the level), the fixed costs ‘debate pot’ was stirred in January 2016 by Lord Justice Jackson to include all civil litigation in his speech at the Insolvency Practitioners Association Annual Lecture, entitled ‘Fixed Costs: The Time Has Come’.
His proposals, setting out very specific financial dynamics for what was termed a ‘complex grid of fixed recoverable costs’, were, reportedly, greeted with hostility from many quarters (no surprise there). In May 2016, Jackson LJ clarified that his proposal was never intended to be a ‘final blueprint’ but rather was meant to be ‘a good starting point for debate’….
First published in the Solicitors Journal