Civil Legal Aid

Sir Oliver Heald announced that the draft Civil Legal Aid (Merits Criteria) Amendment Regulations 2016 will broaden legal aid availability to include cases that have a 45-50% chance of success, but are of overwhelming individual importance or significant public interest.

Contrasting Medical Reports in RTA claims

LV permitted to bring committal proceedings against two Solicitors, after two contrasting medical reports were produced in an Road Traffic Accident claim which they were handling. The differences in the reports were described as ‘stark’ by her Hon. Judge Karen Walden-Smith.

Judges prepare profession for Online Dispute Resolution

In his key note speech at the annual Bar conference, Sir Ernest Ryder, speaking about the plans for a radical transformation of the courts and tribunals systems said the following:

“…we have and will continue to have the best justice system in the world. Our aim is to take the best of our existing system and transform it into something that will stand the test of time.”

“A digital world may be more effective and efficient, it may even be more accessible and proportionate, it will hopefully be swifter and more intelligible, but it does not provide a substitute for the sophisticated skills of the advocate or the litigator.”

Jackson tells lawyers and judges to be proactive on disclosure

LJ Jackson, speaking at the Law Society’s Commercial Litigation Conference 2016, advised that lawyers must “act against their own interests” and consider new forms of disclosure instead of automatically pursuing standard disclosure, such as technology assisted review software.

Government shelves personal injury reform

Members of Association of British Insurers have received an email from the director of general insurance policy, stating that the Government has decided not to proceed with its plans to increase the small claims limit for personal injury from £1,000.00 to £5,000.00 and remove the right to claim damages for low-value soft tissue injuries.