The Master of the Rolls has appointed Lord Justice Jackson to lead a fundamental review into the costs of civil litigation.
The review will commence in January 2009, and the findings are due to be presented to the Master of the Rolls in December 2009. Lord Justice Jackson will be the sole author of the final report, but he will be assisted in the review by a small group of 'assessors', drawn from the judiciary, legal profession and an economist. The review group are due to meet monthly to discuss issues and findings.
The review is being undertaken as the Master of the Rolls, Sir Anthony Clarke, is concerned at the costs of civil litigation and believes that the time is right for a fundamental and independent review of the whole system.
Lord Justice Jackson will establish how present costs rules operate and how they impact on the behaviour of both parties and lawyers.
He will also establish the effect case management procedures have on costs and consider whether changes in process and/or procedure could bring about more proportionate costs.
The review will have regard to previous and current research into costs and funding issues; for example any further Government research into Conditional Fee Agreements - 'No win, No fee', following the scoping study.
An informal consultation and a series of public seminars will seek the views of judges, practitioners, Government, court users and other interested parties.
In conducting the review Lord Justice Jackson will also compare the costs regime for England and Wales with those operating in other jurisdictions.
A final report setting out recommendations with supporting evidence will be prepared by 31 December 2009.