The Civil Justice Council has called for a ‘notice to mediate’ system used in Canada to be considered as the first step towards a more “automatic” system of alternative dispute resolution.
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.
Organised schemes are driving the 20% rise in mediations undertaken in England and Wales over the past year, according to the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution. CEDR estimated that £11.5bn worth of commercial claims were mediated in the past year.
Apprentices at personal injury law firms can now access the Motor Accident Solicitors Society’s diploma as part of their training after the society struck a deal with Damar Training. Meanwhile, MASS has joined forces with APIL and FOIL to create a register for mediators in PI and clinical negligence claims.
The NHS has adopted what has been described as “a novel protocol” to deal with medical negligence cases involving traumatic complications following mesh implant surgery, in anticipation of further legal claims. The protocol concerns claims relating to pioneering operations carried out privately.
Parties should be required to engage in a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) before the issue of proceedings, NHS Resolution has argued. It also “strongly” advocated the disclosure of liability and quantum reports prior to issue.
An online platform, described by its creator as “the only one in the world” to allow arbitrations to be conducted entirely on the internet, has launched with a pilot personal injury scheme. The platform, eARB, is handling over 20 cases as part of a pilot scheme developed by the Personal Injury Claims Arbitration Service.
A voluntary newspaper regulator yesterday launched a dispute resolution scheme that requires an up-front payment of just £50 to kick off a legal claim, with a further £50 payable only if the case goes to final ruling. The scheme was set up by IPSO, the Independent Press Standards Organisation, created in the wake of Lord Justice Leveson’s inquiry to replace the Press Complaints Commission.
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”.
Trucks manufacturers that have already paid huge fines for their role in fixing prices in European trucks markets are now facing substantial claims from those who overpaid for their vehicles – the first of many.