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Litigation focus | Changing tack

The Jackson reforms could bring major benefits for claimants able to make an early Part 36 offer, says Mark Cannon QC

26 July 2013

Whether or not Zhou Enlai said, when asked in the 1970s of his opinion on effect of the French Revolution on western civilisation, that it was "too soon to tell", it is undoubtedly the case that it is too soon to tell what impact of the Jackson reforms is having on civil litigation. News that the number of registered claims management firms has fallen from 2,435 in March 2012 to 1,700 in June 2013 certainly suggests an immediate and significant effect on them, although there may be other factors at work.

What can be said is that the Jackson reforms will make it more difficult and less attractive for some individual claimants to litigate their claims.

But even if claims management firms disappear from the scene, I suspect that potential claimants will still tend to find their way to lawyers, whether solicitors or alternative business structures, and that ways will be found for claims with real merit to be advanced. What will disappear are modest claims which...

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