The contemplated new ‘no win no fee’ funding landscape post the Jackson review could really end up being a nightmare for Claimants and their lawyers. Although the Jackson recommendations are still out for consultation(until the 14th February 2011) it is expected that the Government will seek to implement many of the proposals very quickly after the end of the consultation period. If post event legal expenses insurance premiums and lawyers success fees become irrecoverable against an opponent the effect could cause serious prejudice to Claimants and indeed dissuade many from pursuing just causes. It is not clear whether the general public will hear anything but the usual scare stories of massive success fees and premiums for no perceived risk when firms such as Matthew Wilkinson are pursuing many high risk professional negligence claims and Claimants and the firm need the success fees for the funding of this form of access to justice. At Matthew Wilkinson I probably spend more time on cases that can not proceed than on cases that we can run because it takes a lot of time to assess and investigate cases involving matters which often involve large amounts of paperwork in large boxes! The risk of access to justice being denied because firms will not want to investigate and take on difficult cases is very real and if the changes are implemented our ability to help citizens who feel that they have been the subject of lawyer’s negligence will be seriously hampered. Let’s hope that these risks can be highlighted to the Government in the short time available! Mr M B Wilkinson BA MPNLA Solicitor.
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