Page 40-41 - TheKnowList Report Issue 7 - March 2013

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Few issues have divided the legal profession
as much as the Legal Aid, Sentencing and
Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act,
which is due to come into force in April.
Widely known as the Jackson reforms, after a
report published by Lord Justice Jackson last
year, the new regime effectively does away
with success fees and premiums being
recoverable from the losing party in litigation.
In addition, the new rules allow for damages-
based agreements (DBAs) that allow lawyers
to take a portion of a claimant’s compensation.
Simple? Far from it. As with any new
legislation that regulates the legal
profession, the details are more complex.
Furthermore, sectors of the profession have
reacted strongly, no more so than personal
injury lawyers. The Jackson reforms are
poised to dramatically alter the personal
injury market, many would say for the worse,
but it goes beyond that. Litigation, which
almost every law firm in the UK practices,
has not gone through such intense change
since the notorious Woolf reforms of 1999.
Commercial litigation
For firms engaged primarily in commercial
litigation, rather than insurance based
contentious activity including personal injury,
the profession is relatively sanguine about
the tectonic shift in the litigation landscape.
Annabel Thomas, a partner at City litigation
boutique Enyo Law, welcomes the new
regime and says that progressive firms such
as Enyo are looking to leverage the
changing environment. “I think this is the
biggest change since the Woolf reforms,
and hopefully should go some way to cutting
the cost of litigation,” she explains. “I think
the impact will be that London should
become even more attractive as a litigation
forum. With more funding options, docketed
judges, tighter costs management and a
disclosure menu, it should make litigation
more streamlined and more effective.”
The impending Jackson reforms
have triggered fury in some quarters
of the legal profession, as well as
some enthusiasm in others
By Chris Crowe
“The Jackson reforms are
poised to dramatically alter the
personal injury market, many
would say for the worse.”
Annabel Thomas, Enyo Law
Chris Crowe