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Clarke hits greedy solicitors as he scraps no win, no fee deals

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Clarke hits greedy solicitors as he scraps no win, no fee deals

Post by Guest on Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:40 am

Putting this here for now as it's very pertinent right now

Clarke hits greedy solicitors as he scraps no win, no fee deals

By Tim Shipman
Last updated at 8:05 AM on 27th October 2010

No-win, no-fee deals are to be scrapped under a radical shake-up of the courts to stop ambulance-chasing lawyers from cashing in on frivolous cases.
Justice Secretary Ken Clarke announced yesterday that he will scrap lucrative success fees which allow lawyers to double their bill at the expense of the person or organisation that loses the case.
NHS trusts have been driven to pay up before a case comes to court to avoid the peril of huge costs of going to trial.

Ken Clarke has announced that he will scrap lucrative success fees which allow lawyers to double their bill at the expense of the person or organisation that loses the case

The payouts have been blamed for having a ‘chilling’ effect on freedom of speech since they have driven scientists, writers and newspapers to settle even flimsy accusations of libel out of court rather than risk the huge costs of losing a case.
Britain will now move to a system in which lawyers take a share of the damages awarded to the winner – the same as the American system.
Damages are likely to be increased by 10 per cent to ensure that those who win a case still receive the money they deserve. Mr Clarke said he has accepted the findings of a review by Lord Justice Jackson, published earlier this year.

He recommended an end to the top-up fees for lawyers, which make the loser pay a penalty of 100 per cent of the costs, and found that some made off with fees costing ten times the level of the damages awarded.


Labour had intended to slash ‘success fees’ to 10 per cent of costs. But the Justice Secretary has decided to scrap them altogether.
Mr Clarke told Radio 4’s Law in Action programme: ‘You should not have a situation where, regardless of however frivolous the claim is, the sensible thing for the defendant to do is to settle, get out, before the legal costs start running up.’
The Ministry of Justice is now working on plans for legislation to be introduced early next year.
In a second move, the Government plans to strengthen freedom of speech, by introducing protections that will stop libel laws being used to stifle free expression and censor books and newspapers.
Mr Clarke plans to introduce an explicit defence of public interest to enshrine freedom of expression, as well as
preserving the right of public figures to protect their reputation.
Legislation on that will be drawn up next year and could come into force in 2012.
Taken together, Ministry of Justice officials say the new guidelines will ensure that legitimate libel cases can go ahead but prevent big corporations from silencing academics and journalists who make fair criticism of their activities.
The issue was highlighted when science writer Simon Singh was sued by the British Chiropractic Association after he claimed there was little evidence chiropractic treatments helped children with asthma.
The BCA eventually dropped the case but only after Mr Singh had lost two years earnings and run up £20,000 legal costs.

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I do like some of the things this new government are doing.

Carter Ruck

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Re: Clarke hits greedy solicitors as he scraps no win, no fee deals

Post by kathyBelle on Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:00 am

Good morning Candy, someone I once knew, was taking the firm she worked for to court, on a no win no fee basis. She was advised to take out an insurance policy out to cover the costs of the firm should she lose the case. She lost the case and was out of pocket by thousands of pounds. I presume the insurance policy she took out, didn't cover all the costs of the firm she took to court. She said there were a lot of hidden costs, that she wasn't aware of.


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