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The Jackson Report & ATE Insurance

When I was at school, I used to take in sandwiches for lunch but on Tuesdays, as a 'special treat', I was able to have school dinners. I thought this was a money saving exercise by my mother but it may actually have been to save me from the poor quality of school meals. Anyway, I actually used to look forward to Tuesdays (it was always chips and spam (!) fritters followed by spotted dick and custard) until one day they changed the menu. Instead of spam fritters, I was faced with some grey looking meat with gravy.

'What's that?' I asked the cook. She looked at me sheepishly then replied 'ox tongue'.

I just had the chips that day. So did everyone else.

The next Tuesday came around and I lined up again for lunch expecting that spam fritters would be back on the menu but no, the grey meat appeared again (probably the same bits).

I started asking around to see who actually liked ox-tongue, and found none of the students did and neither did any of the teachers I spoke to. The next week I asked the cook and she said it was a pain to cook and no one liked it but they had been told 'from above' to put it on the menu.

So how does this relate to the Jackson Report? Well, on 11th November, Lord Justice Jackson spoke at the Birmingham Law Society Conference on 'The Lord Jackson Costs Debate'. His speech consisted of telling the audience that he was right, his report should be instigated in full and that no one should challenge his proposals.

Then the rest of the speakers had their turn...

Nick Starling from the ABI (who represent the defendant insurers) generally agreed with Jackson but did not like one-way costs shifting (and therefore getting rid of After the Event Insurance) which is at the heart of the proposals. Anthony Hughees (ex-Foil president) then spoke and didn't agree with Jackson, nor did John Spencer from MASS, Michael Lent from Temple nor Crispin Passmore from the Legal Services Board.

Basically, no one likes tongue being on the menu except those 'from above' who won't have to eat it.

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