This conference focuses on next steps for civil justice following reforms in England and Wales, along with discussion on the ongoing courts modernisation process.
As Government undertakes its post-implementation review of LASPO Part 2, delegates will look at the impact of the ban on referral fees, conditional fee arrangements and whether the goal of reducing litigation fees has been achieved following the Act.
The conference also takes place in light of the Civil Liability Act gaining Royal Assent. We expect discussion on its provisions including a fixed tariff for whiplash damages, an increase in the small claims limit to £5,000 for road traffic accident claims and the review of the personal injury discount rate announced in the Act.
Delegates will also discuss the perceived lack of availability and awareness of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) services highlighted in the recently published report by the Civil Justice Council (CJC), including their recommendations for the creation of a website with information about types of dispute resolution and a specialist liaison committee on ADR.
As HMCTS looks to digitise court services, delegates will consider the impact of the reforms for clients and lawyers as well as the issue of access to justice in the sector - and what can be learnt to inform implementation as the results from the independent study of the fully-video hearings pilot are published.
We also expect discussion on the online portal that is aimed at improving costs and efficiency in the sector, as well as issues for claimants representing themselves online and concerns about possible increase in fraud - and the next steps for Online Dispute Resolution.
Further sessions will consider the wider impact of the Courts and Tribunals (Judiciary and Functions of Staff) Act, with delegates considering next steps for implementing flexibility in civil courts following the newly announced pilot scheme.