Hello all. It has been a while. Been busy here at Box Legal.
Lots happening in the world of the strange that is the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Bill of late.
First bit of gossip is we have heard rumours of a push for Industrial Disease
matters to be excluded from the regulations - I shall tell more if and when I get confirmation. Also, last night, the Government was handed 3 defeats by the House of Lords including medical reports for Clinical Negligence
. It looks like After the Event Insurance may be recoverable for such cases. We shall see.
Today though I thought I would concentrate on something a bit more left of field.
Let's talk about the Leveson enquiry. It has now been running for several months and all sorts of goings on have been revealed. My friend (Senior Media Partner in a top Law Firm) believes that Lord Leveson is bound to call for regulation of the media with perhaps a regulatory body being put in place which can actually fine newspapers or news organisations.
What is interesting though for us are comments which were made regarding CFAs. The hacking of Milly Dowler's mobile phone was a real low point for journalism. The Leveson enquiry heard evidence that the Dowlers were only able to take legal proceedings because of the availability of CFAs, success fees and After the Event Insurance. They allowed the very uneven playing field to be levelled a little. Without them it would be the media (with all their 'influences' and money) on one side and ordinary members of the public (with very limited finances) on the other. Not a fair situation at all.
So my friend believes that Lord Leveson will recommend that CFAs, success fees and After The Event Insurance should remain.
How this is going to sit with the Government remains a big question. Will they still push through the unpopular (and most agree, unworkable) changes to civil procedure? Will APIL, MASS and The Law Society's joint proposal begin to become attractive to Ministers who do not want to be seen to be removing access to justice?
I can sense a wind of change although the jury is still out.