Government Responds to Litigation Funding Review

The Scottish Government has recently published its response to the review of expenses and funding of litigation that was carried out by Sheriff Principal Taylor.

The Taylor Review was commissioned in March 2011, and in September 2013 it produced an in-depth report that set out a powerful case for substantial changes to the current system of expenses and funding of litigation. The report also contained a large number of recommendations to put these changes into practice.

The Scottish Government has said that it accepts all of the recommendations made in the review in principle, but recognises that the recommendations should be taken forward in stages to be in line with other justice reforms, including the Courts Reform (Scotland) Bill, which will lay the foundation on which to deliver the implementation.

The Government’s recently published response sets out an incremental plan of activity that it says takes account of multiple responsibilities and other interdependencies. It focuses on a number of the review’s recommendations, including those relating to the cost of litigation, sanction for counsel, qualified one way costs, damages based agreements, claims companies and referral fees.

“Having considered Sheriff Principal Taylor’s recommendations, I am convinced that they will go a long way to making the Scottish civil litigation system much more accessible to the people of Scotland,” commented Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill. “The current situation where the unpredictability of costs represents a barrier to justice is not acceptable.”

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