Sir Henry Brooke, former Vice-President of the Court of Appeal’s Civil Division, has called on government lawyers to “involve themselves in mediations even if they perceive that they may be losing business for themselves”.
The NHS Litigation Authority has once more been ordered to pay indemnity costs on assessment proceedings after rejecting an offer to mediate. Master Simons said “there should be a sanction” for unreasonably failing to mediate.
Irwin Mitchell is claiming to have won the first ever ruling punishing a losing defendant for rejecting an offer to mediate the costs of their dispute. Partner Tom Blackburn said the ruling was “exciting” because it applied to all forms of litigation, not just medical negligence..
MPs have set up an all-party parliamentary group to promote the use of ADR as a way of solving legal disputes. Its chair, Conservative MP John Howell, said he hoped the group would “help change the culture in the UK” in favour of ADR.
The Civil Justice Council has argued against the idea that the government’s proposed small business commissioner should set up a new mediation service. The CJC was highly critical of plans to penalise businesses which failed to take part in mediation.
Judges can provide an early neutral evaluation of a case to assist in its resolution, a High Court judge has said. Mr Justice Norris said that it was part of the judicial function for the judge to accede to a request for a provisional opinion.
Lord Neuberger has said that the compulsory mediation information and assessment meetings (MIAMs) introduced for separating couples should be extended to “smaller civil cases”.
Several well-known names in the costs world have joined a new costs ADR service. Costs Alternative Dispute Resolution (CADR) brings together former Senior Costs Judge Peter Hurst, one-time SCCO colleague Colin Campbell, as well as 20 barristers and five costs lawyers.