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Swift response

The government’s proposals to speed up and reduce the costs of county court litigation involve an overhaul of claims limits and a renewed push towards mediation. The small claims limit would rise from £5,000 to £10,000, and, with the exception of personal injury, the limit for county court claims would rise from £25,000 to £100,000. Lawyers – both claimant and defendant – are unconvinced, albeit for different reasons. We ask both sides for their reactions

20 February 2012

Defendant: lack of clarity leaves profession in state of flux

The government’s recommendations form a compromise recognising some of the concerns that users of the court system raised in their responses to the consultation. It remains keen that its response should be read in conjunction with the legislation presently proceeding through parliament but practitioners will be relieved that some of the more controversial proposals for changing the civil justice system have been shelved, or postponed for further consultation and evaluation of the existing system. Insurers are likely to be disappointed that some of the more radical proposals will not be proceeding. Undoubtedly the remaining changes will still have an effect on solicitors and insurers dealing with personal injury and other claims, but they will not be as revolutionary as they looked to be from the original proposals.

Most commentators have picked up on the increase of the small claims lim...

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