In November 2016, the then Jackson LJ was commissioned by the Lord Chief Justice and Master of the Rolls to explore the possibility of extending the fixed recoverable costs regime with the aim of promoting transparency in civil litigation and access to justice for litigants. This was not a task undertaken lightly, with Jackson LJ having the benefit of other professionals from legal and other backgrounds helping him as assessors. Continue reading

REUTERS | Ricardo Moraes

Litigation funding has typically focused on claimant side investment. Defence funding feels less valuable because it does not so obviously unlock an asset. In addition, the cash benefit of having a funder pay defence legal costs will often be dwarfed by the potential cash payout by the defendant on a loss. And finally, a defendant worth suing is usually not cash constrained in the same way as many claimants who seek funding. But as the funding market has matured, some funders, defence lawyers and their clients have begun to express interest in defence funding. Continue reading

REUTERS | Tobias Schwarz

Can amendment amount to discontinuance?

In Galazi and another v Christoforou and others, the Chancery Master considered whether the very substantial amendments made to the particulars of claim amounted to a discontinuance of the whole or part of the claim, triggering the default position under CPR 38.6(1) that the discontinuing party is liable to pay the costs of the other party. Continue reading

REUTERS | Eric Miller

In Asturion Foundation v Alibrahim the court saved a claimant that allegedly warehoused its claim for over nine months from having its claim struck out. This post considers that decision as well as when delay may amount to an abuse of process; why there wasn’t a delay amounting to abuse in Asturion; and what a party should do if it wants to “pause” proceedings and avoid the risk of strike out on the grounds of abuse.

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There is a global “digitisation” race between countries to modernise their courts.

A key trend in international litigation is using artificial intelligence (AI) technology for case analysis and strategic decision-making based on analysis of the prospects of the case succeeding. Earlier this month, on 4 March 2019, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales announced the establishment of an AI advisory group. The group will be chaired by Professor Richard Susskind and will advise the judiciary on AI developments, its likely impact on the judiciary and court system and the most pressing effects of AI.

In light of these developments, this post considers why a national digital case law database and predictive analytics are important for the UK litigation market to consider in order for the UK to maintain its reputation as premier centre for dispute resolution. Continue reading

REUTERS | Michaela Rehle

“Pay as you go” was a Woolf recommendation when the Civil Procedure Rules were implemented on 1 April 1999, following the recommendations made by the former Lord Chief Justice in his eponymous report in 1998. By that was meant that costs would no longer be payable only at the conclusion of the litigation. Henceforth, whenever an order was to be made about costs (not being fixed costs), the court would consider whether to make a summary assessment at the conclusion of a fast track trial or at the end of the hearing completed within one day, unless there was good reason not to do so (see CPR 44.6 and PD 44.9.1-9.2). Where it was appropriate to make a summary assessment, that would be undertaken by the judge hearing the case or application (see CPR 44.1(1)). Continue reading