Jackson remains tight-lipped

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25 February 2011

Lord Justice Jackson said last week that he was “not prepared to comment” when challenged about his commitment to his proposals for civil litigation costs if a financial review questioned their wisdom.

He was questioned at the recent Solicitors Costs Conference in London by Phil Bellamy, underwriting manager at Legal Futures Associate DAS Group. Mr Bellamy asked if the judge would still be so passionate about full implementation of his primary proposals if an independent financial review concluded, as predicted by various experts, that they would cause insurance premiums and local and national taxes to rise.

Dominic Clayden, director of technical claims at Aviva, has recently confirmed that the insurer has computer modelled the Jackson report, and found that costs would increase rather than fall. These extra costs would have to be passed on to all policyholders in the form of higher premiums.

With an increasing number of academic studies concluding that civil litigation costs would rise under Jackson, Mr Bellamy called on the Ministry of Justice to conduct a full independent financial impact assessment before reaching any conclusions on the recently closed consultation.

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