Government sticks to Jackson implementation dates
Damages-based agreements (DBAs) will be capped at 50%, apart from personal injury and employment law cases, the government has announced.
Personal injury DBAs will be capped at 25%, excluding damages for future care and loss. A ministerial statement confirmed the changes will take place in April 2013, as planned—there had been rumours the implementation date might slip.
Success fees for personal injury cases brought on a conditional fee agreement (CFA) basis will also be capped at 25%, excluding damages for future care and loss.
The ban on referral fees in personal injury cases will also go ahead in April 2013, as planned. The road traffic accident personal injury scheme will be extended to include claims up to £25,000, and will include employers’ liability and public liability claims. The Ministry of Justice says it is also considering introducing independent medical panels for whiplash claims and amending the small claims threshold for damages for personal injury claims.
David Greene, a partner at Edwin Coe, says: “There remain doubts as to whether this can all be done by April. It still looks as if the process is being rushed.”
Professor Dominic Regan, of City University, says: “It is no surprise that the government is charging on with reform.
It will be a major beneficiary for it is invariably on the paying side. The demise of recoverability of success fees and after the event insurance premiums will lighten the costs burden.”
Prof Regan added that the reforms to the road traffic accident scheme were a “non-event”. “Hardly any cases fall within the extended bracket (£10,000-£25,000) and even those caught are more likely to exit as they are quantum high and more susceptible to scrutiny.”