A new Expenses and Funding of Civil Litigation Bill has been confirmed by the Scottish Government

On 6 September, the Scottish Government announced the legislative programme for 2016/17. Amongst the justice reforms proposed, it was confirmed that an “Expenses and Funding of Civil Litigation Bill” will be published. No details have been provided as yet about the specific timescales involved.

The programme confirms that the following measures will be implemented:

  • the introduction of sliding caps for success fee agreements in personal injury and other civil actions
  • damages-based agreements will be enforceable by solicitors
  • the introduction of qualified one-way costs shifting (QOCS) for personal injury cases and appeals, including clinical negligence, with specified circumstances when the benefit of QOCS would not apply
  • new court rules in respect of third party and pro bono funded litigation, and for legal representatives to bear the cost where their conduct in a civil action has caused needless cost
  • the introduction of a multi-party action procedure in Scotland
  • the Auditor of The Court of Session and sheriff court auditors will become salaried posts within the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service

The introduction of the bill will have significant economic implications and will have a material effect on the overall cost of claims and defence strategies. Further updates will be provided when the Bill progresses through the Scottish Parliament. Further information can be found here.