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Jackson on Fixed Costs

Daniel Frieze, head of our personal injury group, has been quoted in the legal press as they published reactions to Lord Justice Jackson’s review of civil litigation costs.

The Law Society Gazette wrote: Daniel Frieze, barrister at St John’s Buildings, said:  ‘These fixed costs proposals run the risk of denying many claimants access to justice – a topic particularly relevant following last week’s Supreme Court ruling on employment tribunal fees. There is the prospect of specialist solicitors in complex cases leaving the market due to the fixed fees, leaving those with lower incomes unable to access the best legal help.

‘Time will tell whether the suggestion of an intermediate track up to £100,000 will provide the necessary access to justice for the most vulnerable. Even with a fixed cost regime, there will inevitably continue to be disputes.’

Litigation Futures said: Daniel Frieze, a barrister at St John’s Buildings, warned that the value of a case should not be the only factor in determining costs.

“These proposals run the risk of denying many claimants access to justice – a topic particularly relevant following last week’s Supreme Court ruling on employment tribunal fees.

“There is the prospect of specialist solicitors in complex cases leaving the market due to the fixed fees, leaving those with lower incomes unable to access the best legal help…

“Even with a fixed-cost regime, there will inevitably continue to be disputes. Efforts to end the ‘cost wars’ have so far failed and this regime may not avoid the use of resources. The current system is underpinned by the notion of fairness, and the focus should be placed firmly on tweaking the current system to prevent misuse, rather than attempting wholesale change.”

Read the full range of responses in The Law Society Gazette and Litigation Futures.