Litigation has changed!

On 1st April 2013 the way to fund litigation changed dramatically.

In the most significant changes since the Woolf Reforms in 1998, Lord Jackson has recommended a number of changes that will have a major impact on the way litigation is conducted and how the associated costs are funded and recovered.

Out went:

  • Recoverability of CFA (Conditional Fee Agreements) success fees and ATE (After the Event) premiums – The Jackson change is that, with a few exceptions, the losing party will no longer be obliged to pay the success fee (i.e. anything above normal fees) as part of the winner’s costs. The same is true of insurance premiums to cover costs liabilities. The winner must therefore pay its own solicitor’s success fee.

In came:

  • Damages Based Agreements (DBA’s) – Contingency fees agreements previously not permitted in English law, whereby legal costs are paid on a percentage basis out of the damages awarded, rather than the amount of hours spent on the case. The amount of costs claimed is capped at 50% of the damages recovered and includes VAT and counsels fees. The costs are only payable if you are successful, therefore no costs will be paid by you if you are unsuccessful.

In addition:

  • The general small claims track limit, where there is no recoverability of legal costs, will increase from £5,000.00 to £10,000.00 and may later rise to £15,000.00.

Where do we go from here?

Else Solicitors will work with you on a case by case basis to find the most suitable funding option for you. We will conduct robust preliminary assessments on value and merits to advise you on the suitable type of funding which is most advantageous to you.

The following funding options are available to you:

  • Damages Based Agreements.
  • Conditional Fee Agreements.
  • After The Event Insurance.
  • Third Party funding.

The changes, although significant, do not prevent you from taking action and the best way to fund each case will be different. The new changes open the door to new and exciting opportunities to fund a case.

For more information regarding funding your litigation, please contact Stephen Stewart today on 01283 526200 or email Stephen.Stewart@elselaw.co.uk

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