Martin Partington: Spotlight on the Justice System

Keeping the English Legal System under review

Reforms to Civil Justice 2013 – funding of civil litigation

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Keeping track of the changes made to the Civil Justice system, in particular those which followed the reforms recommended by Lord Justice Jackson, is quite a challenge. The Ministry of Justice has provided a useful summary of the changes in the following note. There is also a link to a further website that gives more detail of the legislative basis for the changes that have been made. Links to both sites are set out below.

The main changes are:

  • No win no fee Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs)remain available in civil cases, but the additional costs involved (success fee and insurance premiums) are no longer payable by the losing side.
  • No win no fee Damages Based Agreements (DBAs) are available in civil litigation for the first time.
  • Referral fees are banned in personal injury cases.
  • The introduction of new protocols extending the Road Traffic Act personal injury scheme to £25,000.
  • A new fixed recoverable costs (FRC) regime.
  • Claimants’ damages are protected: the fee that a successful claimant has to pay the lawyer – the lawyer’s ‘success fee’ in CFAs, or ‘payment’ in DBAs – is capped at 25% of the damages recovered, excluding damages for future care and loss
  • General damages for non-pecuniary loss such as pain, suffering and loss of amenity are increased by 10%
  • A new regime of ‘qualified one way costs shifting’ (QOCS) is introduced in personal injury cases which caps the amount that claimants may have to pay to defendants.  Claimants who lose, but whose claims are conducted in accordance with the rules, are protected from having to pay the defendants costs.
  • A new sanction on defendants to encourage earlier settlement of claims.

In addition, the functions of the Advisory Committee on Civil Costs, which was to provide advice to the Master of the Rolls on the Guideline Hourly Rates for solicitors, was transferred to the Civil Justice Council with effect from January 2013.

Information in this blog has been adapted from

More details are available at



Written by lwtmp

January 1, 2014 at 10:16 am

Posted in Chapter 10, Chapter 8

Tagged with ,

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