The role which before-the-event insurance might play in improving access to justice is one of three issues that a new Civil Justice Council working party is to consider.
It comes as news emerges that the Civil Procedure Rule Committee is to begin work on slimming down the CPR.
The civil litigation review working group has been set up to consider a series of discrete topics relating to civil litigation and, in particular, issues relating to the funding of claims and of furthering the CPR’s overriding objective of enabling the court to deal with cases justly and at proportionate cost.
Chaired by Professor Rachael Mulheron of Queen Mary University of London, it will maintain a rolling work programme that will allow the group to respond to new topics as they emerge. But the initial focus is to be on the hot‐tubbing of experts, the role which BTE insurance might play in improving access to justice, and the application of qualified one-way costs shifting to private nuisance claims.
The aim is to consider and report on four or five topics consecutively, over a period of approximately 18 months, leading up to the Ministry of Justice’s post‐implementation review of LASPO in early 2018.
The core group of members are: deputy chair Maura McIntosh (professional support consultant, Herbert Smith Freehills), Roger Clements (Expert Witness Institute), Nicola Cohen (Academy of Experts), HHJ David Grant (Technology and Construction Court), Guy Pendell (partner and litigation advocate, CMS Cameron McKenna), Duncan Rutter (representative of the Forum of Insurance Lawyers), barrister Alec Samuels, Michael Stephens (Chartered Institute of Arbitrators), and Neil Sugarman (representative of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers).
The group will be supplemented by additional expert members for the specific topics under review.
As yet, there is little information on the rule committee’s plans, but a recent invitation sent out about an open meeting of the committee next month said that in the autumn it would be “looking at ways of reducing the volume of the CPR”.
Those attending the open meeting would be welcome to provide thoughts on how this might be achieved, it said.