Fixed recoverable costs
Reconsider proposals to extend the fixed costs regime, say CILEx members
30 January 2017
CILEx has joined calls from the legal sector for Jackson LJ to reconsider his proposals around extending the fixed costs regime, following a survey of its members.
Its contribution to the Lord Justice Jackson’s Review Recoverable Costs cautions potential adverse effects on access to justice should it go forward: A one-size-fits-all approach does not work; the value of cases is no indication of their complexity and, to include all non-PI cases is to include a huge variety of cases and levels of work that they entail.
Not only might certain claimants find it hard to get representation, they may find they risk having to fund any shortfall in actual costs incurred themselves or out of their hard won compensation. This could particularly affect smaller organisations and poorer individuals and lead to disparity between parties or an increase in litigants in person.
Nor is the time right in terms of having sufficient volume and detail of supporting data to make the change now or to get the rates within any extended regime right; the costs budgeting regime has not been in place for long enough to create a sufficient bank of data to base any changes on. More time to assess impact, mitigate risks and compile data is required if such a change is to be properly considered.