THE IMPACT OF THE JACKSON REFORMS ON COST MANAGEMENT AND FUNDING ARRANGEMENTS IN THE CONTEXT OF COMMERCIAL CIVIL LITIGATION

It is said that a fundamental change in the litigation system occurs every 100 years. The last such fundamental change took place in England & Wales back in 1996 pursuant to the Woolf reforms, which introduced the principle of proportionality into the heart of the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR). However, over the following decade it became widely acknowledged that the Woolf reforms in relation to costs had been of limited success and further reforms were required. In late 2008 Lord Justice Jackson (Jackson LJ) was tasked with making recommendations to promote access to justice at a proportionate cost. Jackson LJ carried out a wide-ranging review of the civil litigation court system in 2009, and published his findings and recommendations on 14 January 2010.

Following a consultation, the government confirmed in March 2011 that it intended to implement most of Jackson LJ’s primary recommendations. It is expected that most of the reforms will be implemented in April 2013, largely pursuant to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) and amendments to the CPR.

Whilst not as fundamental in nature as the Woolf reforms, once implemented, Jackson LJ’s proposed changes will have a wide-ranging impact on most areas of civil litigation. This article briefly outlines the impact of the Jackson reforms on some of the key areas which are of particular interest in the context of commercial civil litigation.

Jan-Mar 2013 issue

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP