Sir Anthony (now Lord) Clarke, the then Master of the Rolls, commissioned Lord Justice Jackson to undertake a “fundamental review” of the costs of civil litigation in November 2008.
Under the terms of reference set by Sir Anthony, Jackson LJ was asked “to carry out an independent review of the rules and principles governing the costs of civil litigation and to make recommendations in order to promote access to justice at proportionate cost”.
In reading the legal press over the last year or so, mediation for clinical negligence claims has featured regularly and there seems to be a momentum from both sides – perhaps more so from NHS Resolution – to promote it as part of the mainstream menu offered by litigators. Below is an in-depth look at these developments, viewpoints and some preconceptions on what is undoubtedly a topical subject.
There was a legitimate reason for QOCS being created in the funding changes of April 2013. The burden of paying success fees and legal expenses premiums was shifted from the defendant so as ensure the claimant had a legitimate stake in their own costs, and the quid pro quo was that successful defendants would not get their legal costs paid unless QOCS was disapplied. However, to my great disappointment, it appears defendants will not be taking greater care over making such allegations.
As we know, in 2014 the rules changed so that only claims in excess of £100,000 could be issued in the High Court, leading to a lot of cases being transferred to the county courts. We are seeing many claims well in excess of the £100,000 threshold being transferred to the county court.
This past month Ireland has given me cause for celebration due to the decision in Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Ltd & ors v Quinn & ors  IEHC 175, which sanctioned the use of predictive coding technology in the disclosure process.
The Rolling Stones were apparently “deeply upset” – as anyone would be – after leaked court documents last year revealed confidential medical information on band members. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood, are, it has now been revealed, mortal and subject to the same ravages of age as the rest of us.
The judgment in Excalibur Ventures v Keystone et al will give third-party litigation funders a number of reasons to consider how they structure and monitor their funding activities.
Lucy McCormick of Henderson Chambers discusses the as-yet little used discretion in the CPR to dis-apply costs budgeting, and explains how she was able to make a successful application in a case involving a litigant-in-person.
Roberto Carassale, head of costs at Blackburn firm Joseph Frasier, considers whether noise-induced hearing loss claims are disease claims for the purposes of the success fee provisions in CPR 45.34.
On 31 July, amendments to part 36 offers began to take effect, and John Spencer and John McQuater have examined the new protocols in relation to their interaction with part 36, and how its incentives to operate through the protocols, and in a fixed costs regime.