And so it came to pass. Ken Clarke struck down upon the claimant with great vengence etc etc.
Well I did warn everyone that a quick decision probably meant the Government had decided to implement Jackson way before the consultation. We are pretty convinced that that the consultation was merely a formality as it would have taken quite some work to get the White Paper out so quickly having had over 600 responses.
So what has been decided? Well, here is a quick summary:
- Success fees will no longer be recoverable from the defendant.
- ATE insurance policy premiums will no longer be recoverable from the defendant.
- For PI claims a claimant's general damages will be increased by 10%. (The intention is that claimants will use this 10% to pay their solicitor whatever success fee they are able to negotiate, but the success fee which a solicitor can charge in this context will be capped at 25% of all damages excluding damages for future care and loss).
- Qualified One-way Costs Shifting ("QOCS”) will be introduced for PI claims.
Unfortunately, quite a lot hasn't been decided such as the definition of 'person of means' within the exception to QOCS. It seems there is going to be another consultation on the proposals and then some seriously clever drafting will be required.
Basically, rewind to before the Access to Justice Act. The client is going to be worse off, so will solicitors and After the Event Insurers. The only winners here are the defendant insurance companies.
But at least we can all look forward to cheaper car insurance. Can't we?
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