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Briggs report: a look at the fixed costs recommendations

1 August 2016
The Briggs report, a review of the civil court justice system, has made recommendations in relation to fixed costs.

Generally, Briggs recommends that the online court should be modelled on the current Small Claims Track whereby costs are not recoverable other than fixed costs or where a party has behaved unreasonably (CPR r.27.2(g)). He also suggests:
  • a limited fixed recoverable costs regime for “early, bespoke, affordable advice to would be litigants on the merits of their case (including defence) from a qualified lawyer
  • unbundled services from solicitors
  • direct access to barristers
  • allowance for skilled cross-examination in cases meriting it.
Briggs does not suggest the level of fixed costs that should attach to each of these areas and advises that this will need significant input from stakeholders going forward.

This will not be an easy task as the complexity and level of input required from lawyers can vary tremendously depending on the facts and legal issues, but will need to ensure that access to justice is not impeded and litigants feel that they can seek advice from professionals appropriately.

We would encourage stakeholders to participate in discussions as and when they are notified.

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