Reforming civil litigation

Reforming civil litigation

As civil litigation reforms in the United Kingdom unfold, Kennedys is here to keep you up to date on the latest developments and what they mean for you and your business.

The greatest shake up to civil litigation in England and Wales in recent years followed the publication of Sir Rupert Jackson's Report in 2010. The resulting suite of interlocking reforms transformed the litigation landscape as we knew it. Aimed initially at personal injury claims, many of the changes were introduced by LASPO (the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act), which came into force on 1 April 2013. Implementation of related measures have continued, including by the Civil Liability Act 2018. Whilst change continues to evolve in the personal injury space, reform is occurring in other areas of civil litigation and other UK jurisdictions.

Kennedys is a leading voice on civil litigation reforms. We have been engaging with clients, government officials and other key stakeholders since before the Jackson reforms.

Technology is the tool not the master. In using it, we must question everything about the justice system to determine if it – the system – is fit for purpose in achieving the goals of fairness, proportionality and justice. Only when we are confident that we have placed the human experience at the centre of the system should we deploy technology to streamline the process and help deliver the outcomes.

Deborah Newberry, Head of Corporate and Public Affairs

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Civil litigation reforms

  • Civil justice reforms - a game of two halves

    The Civil Liability Bill passed the Lords without amendment on 20 November 2018 and will become law as soon as it is granted Royal Assent.

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  • Kennedys warns of rising cost of injury claims following Scottish reforms

    Changes to the way claims for personal injury are handled by the courts are set to significantly increase the bill for Scottish insurers and policyholders, global law firm Kennedys has warned.

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  • Civil justice landscape: “interesting times"

    The dust appears to have settled slightly on the government’s response last month on reforming the whiplash claims process. Alternatively, it might be that the dust has been blown away by the discount rate bomb dropped on 27 February.

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  • New Commercial Hub introduces a more efficient disputes system in Northern Ireland

    The rules surrounding commercial disputes in Northern Ireland (NI) are going through a period of significant change. This principally involves the creation of a specialist court with new case management rules aimed at resolving cases more quickly and cost-effectively, as well as improving commercial clients’ general experience of the litigation process.

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  • Can’t see the wood for the trees? Will the future of document disclosure in commercial disputes change this?

    A mandatory pilot scheme for disclosure, part of the wider court modernisation process, has commenced in the Business and Property Courts, requiring a change to how a party discloses documents in commercial disputes.

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  • E-signature reform – contractual issues in the digital economy era

    Companies are increasingly questioning why their contracts and customer and supplier interactions cannot be entirely paperless. Whilst legislation and case law would suggest that it is possible, uncertainty remains around the legal status of e-signatures, especially where legislation requires a document to be ‘signed’ or executed as a deed.

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  • Kennedys urges government to stamp out risk of claimants “playing the system” in new fixed-costs world

    We have welcomed government plans to expand the use of fixed recoverable costs (FRCs) in litigation, but warned that more needs to be done to stop claimants and their lawyers playing the new system.

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  • The new discount rate: a minus move

    After a long reform process lasting nearly two and a half years, the Lord Chancellor has today finally determined a new personal injury discount rate of minus 0.25% effective from 5 August 2019.

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  • The new discount rate in Scotland unlikely to be positive

    The Scottish Government has announced that the Damages (Investment Returns and Periodical Payments) (Scotland) Act 2019 (the Act) will come into force on 1 July 2019, triggering the UK Government Actuary's Department (GAD) to start work assessing a new Scottish rate. 

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Court modernisation and digital transformation

  • Online courts: a report on the first International Online Courts Forum

    The team from Kennedys, who were one of the event sponsors, report on this ground-breaking event held over two days in December 2018.

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  • International Forum on Online Courts: embracing the future

    With the launch in London this week of the First International Forum on Online Courts we reflect on progress in the £1 billion reform programme for the courts service.

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  • The future of dispute resolution: AI

    Artificial intelligence (AI) and technology are fast becoming central to the future of dispute resolution. The High Court Divisions at the Rolls Building are implementing a mandatory e-filing system from 25 April 2017.

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