Fixed Costs Reforms Latest15-Sep-2017
Reports emerged this week that the implementation of extended fixed costs is unlikely to happen before April 2019, or potentially October 2019.
Lord Justice Jackson released details of the extended fixed costs proposals at the end of July this year. However, the government has not yet announced
when the consultation into the proposed reforms would commence.
Fixed Costs Proposals
Among the proposals were a fixed costs grid outlining ‘complexity bands’ based on the level of work that would be involved in a case, the introduction of an ‘intermediate track’ for claims up to a value of £100,000, and also the introduction of fixed costs across all fast track cases.
The government has said that it would set out more details of the reforms, but it is unclear when this will happen. The delays in part may be down to the knock on effect of the general election earlier this year.
It has also been highlighted that the Civil Liability Bill, which covers the potential tariff for whiplash damages, has not been included in the bills presented to parliament following the general election.
Clinical Negligence Fixed Costs
This week has also seen clinical negligence lawyers meet with MPs to raise their concerns over the proposed fixed costs in clinical negligence cases.
Members from the Society of Clinical Lawyers (SCIL) were at Westminster to state their position against the proposals, and reinforce that the most important factor remains patient safety.
According to a recent National Audit Office report, it is estimated that the Department of Health will save an £90m a year by 2020/21, but that the costs of claims will increase from £1.6bn to £3.2bn.
With the Department of Health is in the process of preparing its response to a consultation, Lord Justice Jackson has urged that a working party should be set up including the Civil Justice Council, health ministers and representatives from both Claimant and Defendant sides.
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