Bar Council responds to Lord Justice Jackson’s FRC proposals
“Today’s review by Jackson LJ indicates that he has listened carefully to the views of the legal profession and accepted proposals from the Bar Council and others that multi track cases are so varied in character that they do not lend themselves to any rigid costs matrix, and that cost management is working better than had been supposed. The review, in our view correctly, steers away from extending FRC up to £250,000. Jackson LJ has also proposed a grid for an ‘intermediate track’ with ‘streamlined procedures’ for monetary relief cases up to £100,000, and only for cases of ‘modest complexity’. Encouragingly, there are also proposals in the report for a grid of recoverable fees which include ring-fencing fees for counsel or other specialist lawyers in more complex fast track cases and for intermediate track cases. These include trial advocacy fees.
“As expected, the FRC ‘grid’ is proposed for all fast track cases, with figures to be reviewed every three years taking into account inflation.
“The review also proposes an opt-in pilot with capped recoverable costs for business and property cases up to £250,000, as well as a working party to develop ‘a bespoke process for clinical negligence cases up to £25,000’.
“The Bar Council will now examine the proposals in detail over the summer and await the government’s consultation with us and the wider legal profession on these plans.”