Ministry of Justice Reforms

Important changes to the Civil Justice rules relating to the conduct of bodily injury claims will be introduced on 1 April and 1 August 2013.

Background

A number of civil justice reforms will be implemented in April and August 2013 which will radically reform the litigation landscape. These changes will have a significant impact on the timescales for investigating and commenting on liability claims.

It is important that you are aware of the reforms and preparations for their implementation.

In this communication is an outline of the most important elements of the reforms, highlighting where you will need to act, along with some useful website links.

What You Need To Know

  • Success fees and After the Event Insurance premiums will no longer be recoverable by the losing party where new funding arrangements are entered into on or after 1 April 2013.

  • There will be a Qualified One-Way Costs Shifting (QOCS) for personal injury claims. This means that, save for certain situations, costs will not be payable by an unsuccessful claimant to a defendant. This comes into force on 1 April 2013 for claims funded by the new arrangements.

  • Under the new rules there will be an increase of 10% in General Damages (pain, suffering and loss of amenity) to balance the non-recoverability of success fees from the paying party.

  • From 1 August all Employers’, Public and Product Liability bodily injury claims (valued between £1,000 and £25,000) will be dealt with by Solicitors and Insurers via an electronic portal.

  • There are some exceptions which will include any Employers Liability disease claims where there is more than one defendant and all Public Liability disease claims.

  • Letters of claim and postal claims will be replaced by Claim Notification Forms (CNF).

  • The majority of Employers’ Liability CNFs will be sent directly to your Insurer by third party solicitors. However, Public and Product Liability notifications are likely to be sent directly to you.

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