Built Environment Group (Construction, Engineering & Projects) - Review

    July 2009

    A fundamental look at the costs of litigation

    With mounting concerns about the costs of civil justice over the last decade, the Master of the Rolls has appointed Lord Justice Jackson to lead a fundamental review into the costs of civil litigation. Lord Justice Jackson has published his preliminary report and the review is now in its consultation phase.

    The costs of civil litigation are being closely examined and with recent high profile cases such as the Multiplex v Cleveland Bridge case, Technology and Construction Court (TCC) cases are not exempt from scrutiny. It is not all doom and gloom, however, and the preliminary report indicates that in recently completed TCC cases, the percentage of costs recovered by the winning party is generally quite high, often in the region of 75% or more and secondly, in the majority of cases concluded, the costs incurred appear to be proportionate to the sums at stake.

    In this note, we focus on the fundamental issue of funding litigation, though the review also addresses in detail matters arising from the conduct of litigation.

    In May 2008, international law firm Hammonds became a limited liability partnership. Hammonds LLP and its affiliated undertakings has offices in Birmingham, Leeds, London and Manchester in the UK, and in Berlin, Brussels, Beijing, Hong Kong, Madrid, Munich and Paris.