On 1 April 2013 the Jackson Reforms will take effect, bringing about the biggest shake-up of the civil litigation costs and funding regime since the Woolf Reforms in 2000.

Over the next fortnight, we will take a close look at the main provisions of the Jackson Reforms and their likely impact on the way litigation is managed by educational institutions.

Lawyers and commentators are divided on whether the proposed reforms represent a rebalancing of a system in which costs have spiralled out of control or whether in fact the proposed reforms will remove access to justice for claimants without the means to fund their legal costs.

In this posting we list the headline changes and in later postings we will look at each of the reforms in detail and analyse the practical effects.

In summary, Lord Jackson was asked by the government to come up with recommendations to reform the way litigation is funded and thereby promote access to justice.  His proposals will become law on 1 April 2013 via The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act 2012.

The main provisions are as follows:

  • Abolition of recovery of After the Event Insurance premiums and success fees from losing defendants;
  • Introduction of Damages Based Agreements;
  • Changes to the Part 36 – the rules governing settlement of claims;
  • Qualified One Way Costs Shifting (QOCS);
  • General Damages Increase
  • New costs and case management rules