Tuesday, 12 June 2012

LASPO – Insolvency cases exempt from reforms

Further news to the LASPO Bill, which was given Royal Assent last month; with the recoverability of success fees and ATE insurance premiums being unavailable with effect from April 2013, insolvency cases will now be exempt from no-win, no-fee reforms until April 2015.
LASPO is still progressing but there are still big issues and small yet significant concessions that bring into question how it will be implemented as early as spring 2013. As discussed in a Legal Futures article, problems with QOCS still exist, the government is “seeking further advice from the Civil Justice Council” with speculation that there may be some issues making the “qualifications work”. QOCS is an important aspect to get right as claimants are intended to be protected from defendants’ costs in most circumstances, even when they lose.

On the concessions side, Mesothelioma cases were excluded during the ‘ping pong’ stage between the Houses until an impact review has been undertaken. The latest exemption from the April 2013 date brings us to the insolvency cases.

As reported in Law Society Gazette, Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly made a written statement to the House of Commons, “Insolvency cases bring substantial revenue to the taxpayer, as well as other creditors, and encourage good business practice which can be seen as an important part of the growth agenda with wider benefits for the economy. These features merit a delayed implementation to allow time for those involved to adjust and implement such alternative arrangements as they consider will allow these cases to continue to be pursued.”

The Law Society Chief has welcomed the latest decision asking that “this logic applied to other types of cases, where a similar implementation delay, until 2015, would help to avoid unwelcome impacts on ordinary people’s right to secure legal redress.”

The LASPO rollercoaster continues, be sure to check back soon for more news!

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