Civil Justice Council launches working group to keep Jackson reforms under review

Kinley: group chair

The Civil Justice Council (CJC) has created a working group that will “consider and advise” the council on issues arising from implementation of the Jackson reforms.

Chaired by CJC member Alistair Kinley, a partner and head of policy development at defendant insurance firm BLM, the only aspect of the reforms beyond its remit is damages-based agreements, changes to which is under consideration by the Ministry of Justice.

The group’s terms of reference require it in particular to investigate and report to the CJC on:

  • Transitional questions in conditional fee agreement cases due to changes in the client’s status or the lawyer’s status, or basis of instruction, happening after commencement,
  • Arguments for and against extending qualified one-way costs shifting to other categories of case characterised by an asymmetric relationship between the parties, such as actions against the police and solicitors’ professional negligence in injury claims;
  • To consider any other relevant topics, including points brought to the CJC’s attention at its conference on 21 March 2014; and
  • To make, where relevant, proposals for improvement designed to smooth the process of implementation and to facilitate access to justice.

The other members of the group are Steven Green (a costs lawyer and head of costs at Irwin Mitchell), Mark Harvey (head of the claimant division at Hugh James), David Johnson (partner at Weightmans and president of the Forum of Insurance Lawyers), Maura McIntosh (professional support consultant at Herbert Smith Freehills), John Mead (technical claims director, NHS Litigation Authority), Professor Rachael Mulheron, Andrew Ritchie QC (chair, Personal Injuries Bar Association), Jenny Screech (underwriting manager at Zurich) and Peter Smith (former managing director of Firstassist Legal Expenses Insurance). The group will also include a district judge.

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