0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

government embarks on CFA regime change

21 June 2011

The process of reforming the legal funding regime began in earnest today with the publication of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill.

The Governments support for reform was made clear in its reception of Lord Justice Jacksons recommendations and its response to a consultation on the subject earlier this year. However, this Bill is the first step towards making the legislative changes necessary to remove recoverable success fees and After The Event (ATE) premiums, and to introduce Damages Based Agreements (DBA).

The Bill, should it become law, will effect substantial changes, as well as empowering the Lord Chancellor to make secondary legislation:

  • Costs orders in proceedings may not require one party to pay the success fee or ATE premium of the other (applicable only to success fees or insurance policies entered into after the Bill becomes law).
  • Maximum limits expressed as a percentage of damages to be placed on success fees in certain categories of claim, to be subject to a cap specified by the Lord Chancellor
  • Restrictions which limit the availability of Damages Based Agreements to be lifted (though the Lord Chancellor may restrict the types of proceedings in which DBAs are available)
  • Little is said regarding costs recovery under a DBA, save that "rules of court may make provision"
  • There is scope for recoverability of ATE premiums to be permitted in clinical negligence claims, via an Order of the Lord Chancellor

It is likely that the Bill will be a controversial one, and its passage is likely to be far from straightforward, with many interest groups already lobbying strongly against the proposed changes and a number of sympathetic MPs. Secondary legislation will also be vulnerable to challenge through Judicial Review.

However, the Government appears determined to address the cost of claims, and sees this Bill as a key step in the process. We expect that it will pass into law, most likely this year, and that secondary legislation will follow soon after.

focus on...

Legal updates

Assessing the scope of employers liability – Chell v Tarmac

These were the opening remarks of Mr Justice Martin Spencer when handing down his Judgment in the recent case of Andrew Chell v Tarmac Cement and Lime Limited [2020] EWHC 2613, the latest in a series of appeals dealing with the scope of vicarious liability.


Legal updates

Non-payment of insurance premiums during the Coronavirus pandemic

The forced closure of many businesses as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Recent reports from the Office for National Statistics state that the economy was 25% smaller in April than it was in February this year.


Legal updates

Reinstatement for property damage losses – when does it apply?

The Court of Appeal has recently considered the correct test for measuring the indemnity for property damage losses and has provided useful guidance on whether an insured needs to intend to reinstate the property to its pre-loss condition.


Legal updates

Coronavirus (COVID-19) insurance considerations

With instances of COVID-19 rapidly increasing throughout the UK, many businesses are considering the options available to limit staff and customer exposure to Coronavirus.


The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up