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
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
"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."