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A compensation culture for Scotland?

Changes to the rules on costs in Scottish PI claims may have unintended consequences, warns Andrew Lothian

18 September 2017

The rules on costs in Scottish personal injury claims are about to change, but unless lessons are learned from similar reforms in England and Wales, there are likely to be unintended consequences.

The Civil Litigation (Expenses and Group Proceedings) (Scotland) Bill is currently being considered by the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee. The Bill will introduce qualified one-way costs shifting into Scotland and allow solicitors to enforce damages-based agreements.

The Bill is intended to address the supposed ‘David v Goliath’ relationship between claimants and insurance-backed defendants in Scotland. Surprisingly, the Scottish government has not produced any evidence to demonstrate how many claimants in Scotland are unable to find a lawyer, nor has it modelled the likely increase in claims or the cost of those claims.

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