Trethowans asked to comment on Ramsey review

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It has been announced this week that Justice Ramsey will lead yet another review of the litigation reforms which have recently been implemented following the extensive research undertaken by Lord Jackson.

The review, which will be conducted by a team led by Justice Ramsey, will look at three main areas of the reforms that have so far proved problematic for lawyers. It is due to be completed by April 2014, with Ramsey working alongside district judge Christopher Lethem and Justice Stephen Stewart.

Most of the Jackson reforms were brought into effect in April this year. Ramsey has identified the following problem areas so far: the current bill of costs is not compatible with precedent H – a costs budget form; the funding of litigation and allowing access to justice at a proportionate cost; and the time taken in dealing with case and costs management in initial case costs-management hearings.

Kelvin Farmaner, Partner with Trethowans LLP Solicitors and Head of the Forum of Insurance Lawyers Costs Sector Focus Team was asked by national Insurance Post Magazine to comment on these developments this week.

Kelvin said it is sensible to look at technical points like the bill of costs issue, but added: “It is probably a bit too early to start reviewing the bigger picture of whether these reforms are working. It is hard to review something when you haven’t really seen what impact it might have.  Any kind of tweaking on technical points is sensible and won’t have any major effect on claimant lawyers and insurers, but any other changes are likely to have a knock-on effect.”

Insurers and law firms alike have been working hard to adapt to the changes and further changes will need to be well thought out and allow time for implementation.