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Clarke gives full backing to Jackson

22 November 2010

Justice secretary Ken Clarke has given his full backing to Lord Justice Jackson’s report on civil litigation costs in a statement to the Commons, including the introduction of contingency fees.

Clarke said the government supported the “key proposal” to end recoverability of success fees and ATE insurance premiums. In addition, success fees in personal injury cases would be capped at 25 per cent of damages.

He said the government would also be “seeking views” on the introduction of qualified one-way costs shifting, to protect unsuccessful personal injury claimants from paying the other side’s costs beyond what the court considered to be reasonable, and a ten per cent increase in general damages.

In its consultation paper on implementation of the Jackson report, the government went further than Jackson LJ in its support for contingency fees. The lord justice said that contingency fees should be regulated through an extension of the Damages-Based Agreements Regulations 2010 and that litigants should be entitled to advice from an independent solicitor before agreements are signed.

Ministers said in the consultation paper that since the 25 per cent cap on fees as a percentage of damage in personal injury cases would also apply to contingency fees, they did not believe that further regulation is necessary.

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