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I previously reported (see post) on the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) walking out of talks on extending fixed costs in personal injury cases. The latest news is that APIL is now back in. APIL has explained its decision to rejoin the talks being due to the fact that the Civil Justice Council agreed to discuss matters of process, and not just the level of fixed fee, and that it had been offered the opportunity to make a final written submission on this issue to Lord Justice Jackson. Nevertheless, APIL maintains it still has “profound skepticism” about the need to extend fixed costs.
In a further boost to Jackson LJ, the new Lord Chief Justice, in a recent interview with the BBC, expressed the hope that the cost of civil litigation would be "properly examined" following the publication of Jackson LJ’s report. There is building up a virtually unstoppable momentum behind the idea that radical changes need to be made to control legal costs. Whichever party comes to power after the next election (and at this stage it might be either the Conservative party or the Tory party) there is not going to be an injection of fresh public money to pay for the costs the current system creates. Any change is going to be focused on limiting the costs that are incurred during the process or the costs that are recoverable at the end.
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