Jackson Reforms to be reviewed by Mr Justice Ramsey

How much of an impact have the Jackson reforms made to your life in practice?  Have you spent considerable time and CPD points trying to understand the new provisions themselves as well as how the costs specific new provisions are supposed to work alongside the new case management provisions?

If so, you may have read with eagerness (or growing dread) that Mr Justice Ramsey, within 6 months of the reforms coming into force, has already been quoted as saying that as the judge in charge of implementing the reforms, the reforms are facing a review.  He will be joined by District Judge Christopher Lethem and Mr Justice Stewart.

Is this a good or a bad thing?

The judiciary would appear to have taken a united approach in applying stricter interpretations to the CPR provisions and this is extremely likely to be supported by the Court of Appeal as and when any cases dealing with the reforms are heard by it.  The first one is likely to be that in Mitchell v NGN which involves a leap frog appeal from the decision of Master McCloud and looks not just at costs budgeting but also the new provisions in CPR 3.9 for relief from sanctions.

As we come to terms with that approach should we not be given the opportunity, after so much upheaval in recent years in trying to get to grips with the new rules, to allow the new rules a chance to bed down and for us to come to terms with them or is it better to look at them just six months after implementation?

Some changes already under consideration:

  • the costs budgeting exemption. This is the subject of a review by a sub-committee of the CPR committee and the outcome of that is due in November 2013 (see our review here)
  • the DBA regulations, which many see as being unworkable and which have been widely criticised for the inability to use them in any meaning commercial sense, are also being reviewed with changes likely to be in place by April 2014.
  • the Government is currently consulting on costs protection in defamation and privacy claims – the new provisions do not yet apply to such cases although it is anticipated that the implementation will take place in April 2014; depending on the outcome of the review (see our post here)
  • review of costs billing in conjunction with costs budgeting - the current bill of costs is not compatible with the Precedent H and so is causing issues with costs billing.   The Association of Costs lawyers is considering this issue and looking at bring in a new bill of costs early next year

It will be interesting to see what other areas will be subject to Mr Justice Ramsey’s review.   It would appear that they will more limited in scope than perhaps some commentators have suggested, such that they consider the recommendations in Jackson final costs report which were not implemented.  If such recommendations are subsequently implemented this may require some changes to the existing rules or even new legislation but is probably not going to result in extreme changes to the April 2013 provisions already in place.  Examples of the issues which maybe under consideration are pre-action costs and case management.

What do you think? Vote in our poll below (or leave us a comment).

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Filed Under: Jackson Reforms

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