UK Legal News – Eversheds comment: ‘No-win No-fee’ cases under reform

29 March 2011 – UK Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke has today announced a series of reforms over the way in which lawyers are paid in ‘no-win no-fee’ court cases. The Ministry of Justice has said that success fees will be paid out of damages awarded to claimants, rather than by defendants who are currently liable for as much as 100 percent of the winning lawyer’s base costs on top of their usual fee. Glenn Newberry, Head of Cost Unit at international law firm Eversheds comments:

“The implementation of the Jackson reforms, as announced by Kenneth Clarke today, will alter the way in which litigation is funded and remove the burden of payment of success fees and insurance premiums from Defendants. The announcement follows a root and branch review of litigation costs by Lord Justice Jackson, and the European Court of Human Right’s decision in MGN v UK Government in which the European Court were highly critical of the UK’s system of “No win, no fee” litigation funding. The abolition of the recovery of premiums and success fees will save defendants and insurers millions of pounds a year, with the NHS litigation authority predicting savings of around £50 million per year on clinical negligence cases alone.”

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