The Woolf reforms have failed to embed alternative dispute resolution (ADR), a major report by the Civil Justice Council said today, but it stopped short of calling for the introduction of compulsory ADR. However, a minority of members on the expert working group behind the report did back compulsion.
Arbitrations should begin with a default position of no disclosure of documents, a leading QC has argued. Peter Rees QC said for many disputes, each side had “all the documents it needs” and disclosure was a “time-consuming and expensive luxury”.
Litigants who shun mediation because they want their day in court should not be penalised for their conduct, a Court of Appeal judge has suggested. The comments by Lord Justice Patten fly in the face of the generally harder line taken in recent times by the senior courts on those who unreasonably refuse to mediate.
There is a “strong case” that Brexit will have a “beneficial effect” on arbitration in England and Wales, the Lord Chief Justice has predicted. Lord Thomas said it was “quite wrong” to suggest that Brexit made the law of the UK uncertain, and argued that it “will have no effect on London’s key strengths”.
High Court overturns costs judge ruling that holiday claimants should have used ABTA mediation scheme
Claimants who litigate instead of using an available ADR scheme are not automatically acting unreasonably, the High Court has ruled. It overturned a costs judge’s decision that holiday claimants should have used the Association of British Travel Agents’ mediation scheme rather than litigate.
The NHS Litigation Authority has included a specialist costs service among the three providers named on its first mediation panel, which began work today. The two-year contracts were said to be worth £160,000 in total during the procurement exercise.
A leading personal injury QC has held “board-level discussions” with claimant and defendant law firms and major insurers about his idea to replace the courts’ involvement in catastrophic personal injury claims with that of a neutral facilitator.
The NHS Litigation Authority has launched a procurement exercise for its first mediation panel, which will look to resolve claims for personal injury and clinical negligence and those arising from claims for legal costs.