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Resource Centre > Glossary > Jackson Review of Costs of Litigation

In 2008 the UK Master of the Rolls appointed Lord Justice Jackson to undertake a fundamental review of costs of civil litigation in England and Wales. It is widely regarded that the reforms of civil procedure rules undertaken in the UK following the Woolf Reports (Woolf Reforms, leading to the adoption of the new Civil Procedure Rules) did not achieve one of their fundamental objectives: decreasing the costs of litigation. Thus, the review is meant to assess the position and make recommendations.

The Review is very comprehensive – it includes all levels of litigation, and all courts – also specialist courts. The following are the objectives and the terms of reference of the Review (as identified on the website of judiciary.gov.uk:

"Objective
To carry out an independent review of the rules and principles governing the costs of civil litigation and to make recommendations in order to promote access to justice at proportionate cost."

Terms of reference:

In conducting the review Lord Justice Jackson will:

  • "Establish how present costs rules operate and how they impact on the behaviour of both parties and lawyers.
  • Establish the effect case management procedures have on costs and consider whether changes in process and/or procedure could bring about more proportionate costs.
  • 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.
  • Seek the views of judges, practitioners, Government, court users and other interested parties through both informal consultation and a series of public seminars.
  • Compare the costs regime for England and Wales with those operating in other jurisdictions.
  • Prepare a report setting out recommendations with supporting evidence by 31 December 2009.”

The Final Report was published in December 2009. This is the start of the second stage of the review - CONSULTATION - stakeholders are invited to submit their observations by 31 July 2009.

Stay tuned for updates!

Footnote! Lord Justice Jackson is looking closely at the German legal costs regime –based on lawyers’ fees which are fixed for cost-shifting purposes (this in fact is not the only European system where these fixed fees are the norm: Poland for instance has a very similar system). See this report on the general features of the German legal costs system.