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the waiting game

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.

Well we’ve waited and waited and now we’ve seen the Bill. And? Well it’s still an anti climax and leaves some uncertainty. Whilst it is envisaged that success fees and after the event premiums will not be recoverable from a losing party in civil proceedings, we’ll have to wait for Order of the Lord Chancellor to find out the detail.

Success fees will be subject to a maximum limit and will apply only to the damages specified by the Lord Chancellor. It’s also made clear that this will not apply retrospectively. We also have the introduction of damages based agreements, aka contingency fees.

Given that matters will now be dealt with by the Lord Chancellor will we now see a judicial review of this issue? When will we finally receive a timescale for the implementation? This state of flux is confusing and unhelpful for everyone.

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