Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill (LASPO) - Update

Posted by Mike on October 22, 2012

The Government is reforming civil litigation funding and costs to restore balance to the system. The reforms will be implemented in April 2013 through Part 2 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, associated regulations and changes to the Civil Procedure Rules.

 

Implementation plans have previously been announced through two written ministerial statements:

Written Ministerial Statement - Thursday 24 May 2012
Written Ministerial Statement - Tuesday 17 July 2012

 

Ministers have agreed further details on the 25% cap on success fees in personal injury cases; damages-based agreements; and the ban on referral fees:

 

25% cap on success fees in personal injury cases

  • Success fees in personal injury cases will be capped at 25% of the damages, excluding damages for future care and loss
  • Lawyers will be required to provide clear information to the claimant on how the success fees have been calculated
  • The cap would not apply to appeal proceedings
  • The relevant order and regulations are now being drafted and will be consulted on under the statutory requirements.

Introduction of damages-based agreements in civil litigation

  • Damages-based agreements will now be allowed in all areas of civil litigation
  • In personal injury claims there will be a 25% cap on the amount of damages, excluding damages for future care and loss, that can be taken as a lawyer's contingency fee
  • In all non-personal injury claims (excluding employment tribunal cases), there will be a 50% cap on the amount of damages, excluding damages for future care and loss
  • The regulations are now being drafted and will be consulted on under the statutory requirements

Ban on referral fees

Full package of reforms

The Government is implementing a number of other reforms in the future, including:

Extending the road traffic accident personal injury scheme

  • The Road Traffic Accident personal injury scheme will be extended to include claims up to £25,000
  • The scheme will also include employers' liability and public liability claims
  • Fixed recoverable costs will be reduced

A call for evidence was issued in February 2012. 72 responses were received from a wide range of stakeholders.

 

Reducing costs and numbers of whiplash claims

  • The Government will be consulting on measures to address the number and costs of whiplash claims
  • The consultation will seek views on the introduction of independent medical panels and on whether to amend the small claims threshold for damages for personal injury claims

 

 

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