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[26 APR 99] LODDERS SOLICITORS PRESS RELEASE
Lodders Welcomes Law Reforms

Reforms aimed at making civil actions cheaper and quicker have been welcomed by leading Stratford-upon-Avon law firm Lodders.

The Civil Justice reforms, due to take effect at the end of April, will encourage more cases to be settled by mediation out of court, will curb legal costs and will speed up the procedures.

Lodders partner Michael Wakeling said:

"We see these reforms as fundamental in helping to ensure civil justice is available to anyone and hope that it will encourage those who would previously have not sought civil redress because of fears of the costs or the time involved, to seek the sort of justice they deserve.

"The emphasis for all claims will now be on mediation and settling out ofcourt wherever possible.

"However, when that fails the courts themselves will set the timescales for cases to be heard and will carefully monitor the level of costs as the case proceeds. The introduction of a 'proportionality' concept also ensures that costs will not be able to exceed the amounts being claimed."

All civil actions will be governed by a common set of procedures with a small claims track for sums up to 5,000 (with specific exceptions), a fast track for amounts between 5,001 and 15,000 and a multi track approach for sums above that amount.

Mr Wakeling said:

"The vast majority of all civil cases will be dealt with by the small claims and fast track approaches. It is still the case that only fixed costs can be claimed in small claims cases, but those following fast and multi track approaches will now be able to do so confident that their legal teams have to be much better prepared before a case comes to court, that their costs are regulated and that time wasting will not be tolerated.

"At Lodders we have ensured that our own processes meet the requirements that the reforms place on all solicitors and we will be very happy to advise people on their best way forward under the new system."

NOTES

Lodders has offices in Henley in Arden and Shipston on Stour as well as Stratford upon Avon.

MORE INFORMATION: Jane Grant or Andrea Harper, PR Support  01926 425533
   

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CWN / Business / Newswire / Lodders / 26 Apr 99

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