The Fall: six lessons to be learnt on costs management post-Jackson

The Fall: six lessons to be learnt on costs management post-Jackson

“The Fall” has been the end of the beginning of seismic reforms rippling around the common law globe, says HHJ Simon Brown QC in his latest opinion piece for the New Law Journal.

The message from “The Fall” is that Jackson is here to stay. It is steamrollering through the civil justice system and it requires a culture change among all who want to continue to practise in civil litigation.

Lord Dyson in the Plebgate appeal concluded:

“The Master did not misdirect herself in any material respect or reach a conclusion which was not open to her. We acknowledge that it was a robust decision. She was, however, right to focus on the essential elements of the post-Jackson regime. The defaults by the claimant’s solicitors were not minor or trivial and there was no good excuse for them. They resulted in an abortive costs budgeting hearing and an adjournment which had serious consequences for other litigants. Although it seems harsh in the individual case of Mr Mitchell’s claim, if we were to overturn the decision to refuse relief, it is inevitable that the attempt to achieve a change in culture would receive a major setback. In the result, we hope that our decision will send out a clear message. If it does, we are confident that, in time, legal representatives will become more efficient and will routinely comply with rules, practice directions and orders. If this happens, then we would expect that satellite litigation of this kind, which is so expensive and damaging to the civil justice system, will become a thing of the past.”

Find the full article here.

His Honour Judge Simon Brown QC is the designated mercantile judge for the Midlands sitting at the Birmingham Civil Justice Centre. With thanks to Jane Wright, Secretary to the Civil Procedure Rule Committee. Simon is a docketed judge case managing commercial cases in the region from CMC through to end of any trial. He has piloted Costs Management as part of active Judicial Case Management since June 2009. He regularly lectures nationally and internationally about case & costs management, electronic disclosure and advocacy in his spare time. This article reflects his personal views.

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