A review to be carried out by Justice Ramsey, the judge charged with implementing the reforms has been met with mixed reactions from personal injury lawyers.
Craig Budsworth, chairman of the Motor Accident Solicitors Society said “There are so many unforeseen consequences of the Jackson reforms that we are not going to see until a lot of files are brought to litigation in 12 months or more. I welcome what [Ramsey] is doing, but with caution because there has been so much change so far and that has got to bed-in first.”
Justice Ramsey is leading a team of three people to look at the concerns and problem areas raised by lawyers since the reforms were introduced on April 1st. He highlighted the main areas of concern as the current bill of costs compatibility with precedent H; the funding of litigation and maintaining access to justice at a proportionate cost.
David Bott, Senior Partner at Bott and Co said: “I welcome Justice Ramsey’s review and note his comments that he is going to consider whether the reforms are having the required effect and that the principle remains that we want access to justice at a proportionate cost.
What concerns me is exactly what is the ‘proportionate cost’? As a practicing solicitor I mainly see clients getting less damages and law firms struggling to survive. I hope that Mr Ramsey can assist both camps as an independent, robust claimant lawyer is the best mechanic to provide access to justice.”
It is expected that Justice Ramsey’s review will be completed by April and although he has promised to make changes if necessary, he has ruled out another set of reforms.