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The expenses and funding of civil litigation 02/02/2015 The Scottish Government is seeking views on its proposals to reform the expenses and funding of civil litigation.

The expenses and funding of civil litigation

The Scottish Government is seeking views on its proposals to create a more accessible, affordable and equitable civil justice system for Scotland by reforming the expenses and funding of civil litigation.

The main focus of the consultation are the elements of Sheriff Principal James Taylor’s Review of Expenses and Funding of Civil Litigation in Scotland (2013) identified in the Scottish Government’s response to the Review as requiring implementation by primary legislation.

The consultation also seeks views on some outstanding recommendations from Lord Gill’s Scottish Civil Courts Review (2009), including the potential to introduce a procedure for multi-party actions and provisions relating to the Auditor of Court and Sheriff Court auditors.

Specifically, the consultation paper includes plans to:

  • Introduce a capping mechanism for speculative fee agreements;
  • Allow damages based agreements to be offered to clients by solicitors in Scotland and to be capped to the same extent as speculative fee agreements;
  • Introduce a system of qualified one-way costs shifting (QOCS) in personal injury cases;
  • Introduce technical powers to enable the Scottish Civil Justice Council to implement some aspects of the Sheriff Principal Taylor’s review;
  • To make provision for legal aid in relation to “funder of last resort” (which will ensure that legal aid is targeted at those who need it most) and the availability of legal aid for legal persons in certain circumstances.

It also seeks views on:

  • Some outstanding recommendations from Lord Gill’s Scottish Civil Courts Review, including multi-party actions and provisions relating to the Auditor of Court and Sheriff Court auditors; and
  • Providing the Court of Session with the ability to develop a table of fees for counsel and solicitor advocates.

Comments are sought by 24th April 2015.

See the consultation paper.

 

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