Predictions for 2016

Costs Lawyer magazine recently published the predictions for 2016 of the great and the good in the profession. They also asked me. This was my contribution, written before Lord Justice Jackson’s latest speech:

“When I was asked this question last year, my prediction was that 2015 would be the year guidance would be given by the Court of Appeal on the new proportionality test.  However, at the time of writing, we still have nothing from the High Court or above as to how proportionality is to be applied as part of the detailed assessment process.  I was clearly wrong in my timings and can only hope we have something in 2016.  I also repeat my previous prediction that what will ultimately emerge will be a fiasco and nothing close to what Lord Justice Jackson envisaged.

I also predicted that there would be calls for a massive extension of fixed fees as a consequence of the mess being made of Jackson implementation.  Such calls have indeed been made (with proposals for fixed fees in clinical negligence cases and noise induced hearing loss cases amongst other things).  Expect much more of the same in 2016.

This will be the year where the judiciary finally properly grasps the fundamentals of costs budgeting with sensible and consistent decisions being made at all levels.  Resistance to costs budgeting will be overcome and all legal practitioners will acknowledge budgeting to be a useful tool to control disproportionate costs.  Possibly…”

6 thoughts on “Predictions for 2016

  1. Predictions of “the great and the good in the profession”?? By who’s measure? The ACL’s?

    Just read today’s article on the Litigation Futures website quoting Cost Lawyers – the rush by them to kill off the “profession” grows ever faster

  2. If fixed costs come into force in October 2016 for all claims up to £250k, does this mean 99% of the costs industry is destroyed?

    Are people now looking for other work?

  3. Jackson indicated the end of the year, but even that would be a push – Fixed costs are coming regardless and when they do there will not be many left in the profession. Jump now or later, the end is near……

  4. @king of costs

    well, I’ve seen a “renown” CL post on LinkedIn recently advising would-be ACL candidates not to bother as there’s no jobs for anyone now

    Personally, I’m looking forward to dealing with the fights over which fixed costs apply where and when and all the other legal arguments which will undoubtedly arise – rushed through legislation by Oct 2016? Alternatively, if Jacksons figures are adopted, I’ll just run the claims myself, I have no doubt any experienced draftsman will have greater ability to run cases efficiently than the majority of solicitors

  5. Depends how they come in. I take some heart from the likely escape clauses and the bureaucratic shambles that is the NHS.

    On balance, however, the future is bleaker that a North Yorkshire moor in January.

    Unless of course someone, somewhere, makes the popular press aware of the Orwellian ramifications of these decisions and they, in turn, inspire a nationwide revolt as people become aware that one of their basic civil liberties, justice for all, is being stolen by a corrupt self-serving government.

    I’m not holding my breath.

    But I am looking at jobseekers forms.

  6. Jackson cleverly tied the proposal to the CN fixed costs regime, any objections will be brushed aside on the basis that fat cat lawyers want to protect their fees and rob the NHS coffers – An easy sell to Joe Public

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