Thursday, January 14, 2010

Contingency fees might be coming to the UK

Tort reformers in the US often suggest that we should do away with the use of contingency fees and adopt the "loser pays" system typically used in England. This is so because without contingency fees many, if not most, victims of accidents would not be able to find representation and would be unable to recover compensation for their injuries.

However, the attack on the validity of the contingency fee system may now be substantially weakened by the fact a recent report prepared at the request of the English Judiciary has concluded that contingency fees should be allowed in the UK. In what one commentator called "the most controversial of all his recommendations," Lord Justice Jackson's Final Report proposes that lawyers be allowed contingency fees, acknowledging that the "arguments in favour of contingency fees ... outweigh the arguments against."

Go here for the full story by Go here for a copy of the report itself. Go here for links to the preliminary drafts of the report.

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