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Justice Bill is Published

It is all over the papers this morning. The tabloids all concentrate on the rights of home owners to beat up burglars and seem to brush over the other reforms.

To be honest, it is a complete mishmash of proposals from probation and sentencing to civil procedures and legal aid. There is so much there in the 96 pages that it is easy to overlook items.

Here's a good one. As expected, the changes to success fees and after event insurance appear from part 43. Some bright spark has proposed that the cut off date for after the event insurance is going to be the date of the insurance and not the accident date. This means that solicitors are going to have to check very carefully that everything is insured prior to the reforms otherwise I can see some clients complaining (and no doubt crying fowl) when they have to pick up the tab for a policy required later in the case.  I am assuming the cut off date for qualified one way costs shifting is going to be the accident date though (can't see how it can be anything else) and so there is a big hole here for solicitors to fall in to.

My view is that this legislation, although popular with the Daily Mail readers, won't go down so well in the House of Lords. Of particular concern will be the reforms proposed to Legal Aid and we therefore expect some batting back and forth (still in Wimbledon mode you see) before it gets through. This would obviously be good news for the civil procedural changes although it would only delay the inevitable.

You can find the full Bill here:

Watch this space.

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