LJ Jackson fixed fees limit review reports
In January 2016, much to the dismay of many practitioners LJ Jackson advocated raising the fixed fee costs limit ten-fold to include cases with a value of up to £250,000. At the same time, he published what has become a widely circulated table of four proposed bands of fixed fee claims, each with what could only have been described as meagre allowances.
In November of last year, the Lord Chief Justice and the Master of the Rolls commissioned LJ Jackson to lead a review of the fixed costs regime, to report by 31 July 2017.
Assisted by no less than fourteen assessors and having considered a wealth of data and evidence from barristers, solicitors and costs lawyers what are the recommendations? The key ones are:
- Fixed costs on fast track claims up to £25,000 are probably appropriate and desirable.
- The introduction of a streamlined intermediate track for monetary relief claims of modest complexity and value (up to £100,000) is to be achieved by restricting experts and limiting the number of trial days.
- There should be a ring-fencing of fees of specialist lawyers in complex fast-track and intermediate track claims.
- There is to be a pilot scheme with a cap on recoverable costs in business and property cases up to a value of £250,000 with cases being heard within eight months of the first case management conference.
- The Civil Justice Council and Department of Health is to set up a working group to develop a new process for clinical negligence cases with a value of up to £25,000.
- There should be limits on recoverable costs in judicial review claims in general (not just in environmental cases).
The report signals a major departure from what was being mooted 18 months ago and the full report can be found in full here.