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.
- 1 Fifty Shades of Grey movie trailer released: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 50 books for students to read this summer: From Ernest Hemingway to Gillian Flynn
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 Israel has discovered that it's no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israeli targeting policy under scrutiny after shellfire hits a mother and child, a school full of refugees and a doctor’s home
Peaches Geldof cause of death: Socialite had taken fatal dose of heroin after years of addiction, inquest concludes
Peaches Geldof: Her final day – and her fatal decision
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Iraq crisis: Isis orders Mosul shop keepers to cover mannequins
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...
£34000 - £37000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Pension, Holiday, Flexi-time: Progressive Recruitm...
£280 - £320 per day: Progressive Recruitment: C#, WinForms, Desktop Developmen...