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Civil costs reform will prevent phone hacking victims getting justice, lawyers warn

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Civil costs reform will prevent phone hacking victims getting justice, lawyers warn

Post by ROSA on 15.07.11 4:34

Civil costs reform will prevent phone hacking victims getting justice, lawyers warn
Author: Suzi Ring
14 Jul 2011 | 15:12
Tags: Litigation/dispute resolution

One of the law firms acting for alleged victims of the News of the World's (NoW's) phone hacking scandal has warned that many would have been unable to pursue their claims under changes set to come into effect through the Legal Aid Bill.
According to a letter sent by Collyer Bristow litigation partner and chair of Lawyers for Media Standards, Steven Heffer, to the House of Commons and the House of Lords yesterday (13 July), plans to overhaul ‘no win, no fee' conditional fee agreements (CFAs) will prevent all those except the rich from pursuing claims against the media.
It highlights that a number of phone-hacking victims, as well as other victims of press inaccuracies, have all used CFAs. These include the parents of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler; the parents of missing child Madeleine McCann, Kate and Gerry McCann; and a senior social worker in the Baby P case falsely accused in a number of articles in The Sun newspaper of being "criminally negligent" in her care of the baby.
The Legal Aid Bill includes plans to abolish the recoverability of success fees and after-the-event (ATE) insurance premiums, in a bid to rid the country of the "compensation culture" that many claim exits.
However Heffer warned: "If the media is truly to be held to account, the government must withdraw from implementing the changes in CFAs, which are a dangerous attack on access to justice and will stop victims of phone hacking from getting a remedy.
"These changes are tucked away in the Legal Aid Bill, and the government should at the very least carve out media cases from these in view of the revelations in the phone hacking scandal."
Heffer's letter to parliament comes after NoW was shut down last week (10 July) after it emerged that the newspaper's journalists had allegedly hacked into the phones of Dowler, the families of dead servicemen as well as numerous celebrities and political figures

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Re: Civil costs reform will prevent phone hacking victims getting justice, lawyers warn

Post by Willo on 15.07.11 7:37

If no justice means no payout, Kate and Gerry will be fuming. As will Clarence.

Not a mortage repayment in sight for the poor duo.

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