Fixed ideas

Just before my summer break (now rapidly receding into the past) I published an article in Litigation Funding magazine on fixed costs in NIHL claims.

A copy of the article, can now be downloaded in PDF format here: Fixed Ideas.

Of course, in the last two months the concept of fixed costs in clinical negligence claims worth up to £250,000 has been floated by the government.

One suspects that the figure of £250,000 has been chosen, so that when a compromise is reached at a lower figure (say £100,000) it reflects the government’s intended figure all along.

That fixed costs for clinical negligence cases will happen I have little doubt.

The real debate is how to structure such costs, with the very heavy expenditure on experts and counsel that such cases, have at least to date, carried.

Some commentators have speculated that this could herald the start of a move to fixed costs across the board, irrespective of whether the case is a clinical negligence or personal injury case.

I rather doubt that happening.

Such reforms are not drawn up in a vacuum to maximise utility or even to create a pleasing symmetry and economy in the rules, but rather reflect intensive lobbying by particular interest groups: the insurance industry, the NHSLA, which is absent in the general context of civil litigation.

It takes a great deal of effort to shift the Overton window.

This is demonstrated by the fact, that more than 16 years after the introduction of the Fast Track, costs in general civil litigation seem incapable of being fixed by the rules, nor is there any discernible pressure by lobby groups that they should be.


Michaelmas term and WordPress 4.3

Summer holidays are coming to an end and the start of Michaelmas term is now clearly visible on the horizon.

Change is in the air and soon it will be time to reach for the crumpets and bramble jelly.

It is now nearly 3 years since I started this blog using WordPress and the template that it still uses is the sturdy 2011 theme.

Over the coming weeks I intend to make some changes to the website, including a new theme, linking it to Twitter and RSS, and adding some more photographs.

More changes will be made “under the bonnet” to improve its functionality.

A new and exciting tune is also under consideration.

As ever, feedback is always greatly appreciated: and suggestions for topics or themes for further posts and articles will be looked at with interest.