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I have previously been predicting, and indeed recommending, that the introduction of the new claims process for low value RTAs be abandoned or postponed pending the publication of Jackson LJ’s Costs Review. Further, disagreement over how the fixed fee structure would work and how the new scheme would operate with the existing predictable costs scheme seemed certain to derail the introduction of the new claims process.
It is therefore with no small sense of wonderment that we read in the Gazette that agreement "in principle" has been reached on the new process. Details of the scheme are currently under embargo pending approval by the Lord Chancellor. However, it is reported that the existing predictable costs scheme will remain in place for cases that fall out of the new process. Quite how this will work with "bent metal" claims remains to be seen. Further, it is suggested that the fees for claims that are in the new scheme will be "significantly less than the level of predictable costs".
The new process is due to commence in April 2010.