Big shake-up in court begins
Monday 26 April 1999
The reforms, part of recommendations made by Lord Woolf, the Master of the Rolls, also include greater emphasis on mediation and the use of simple legal language.
Judges have already warned lawyers to expect little mercy if they come to court unprepared.
On Friday, the High Court taxing office was full of solicitors submitting their last bills under the old, more generous costing rules.
Many lawyers have reservations about the initial success of the new system. Sir Richard Scott, Vice-Chancellor of the Supreme Court, head of civil justice, has said the courts' new computer system will not be operating for at least 12 months.
Ian Walker, president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, said: "It's all very well expecting us to be proactive and dynamic but if the technology can't deal with the changes then there will be problems."
The reforms are designed to stop the sort of litigation madness that allowed a Sheffield man to sue 113 people including his milkman, gasman and God. It cost him only pounds 60. Today each writ, or claim form as it is now called, will cost pounds 500 to issue in the High Court.
n Two-thirds of Labour MPs believe the Government's proposals to open up justice will have the opposite effect, according to the results of a survey released today.
The findings are part of a Harris survey commissioned by the Law Society, which found that two-thirds of Labour MPs thought legal aid should be a right. The Access to Justice Bill proposes to scrap legal aid in most civil cases and replace it with a "no win no fee" arrangement.
- 2 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 3 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 UK weather: Britain braced for snow to replace sun as arctic air mass moves in
Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
Russian hack of President Obama's emails worse than previously admitted
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
UK weather: Britain braced for snow to replace sun as arctic air mass moves in
Nepal earthquake: US Pastor Tony Miano sparks outcry by suggesting Nepalis should convert and not rebuild their 'pagan shrines'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This design and print company a...
£38000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...
£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Engineer is required to...
£30000 - £32000 per annum + £4200 car allowance: Ashdown Group: 3rd Line Suppo...