LitComp CEO says Jackson is "potentially destroying the litigation services market"

LitComp, a national provider of After the Event Insurance and medico-legal reports, has claimed that Lord Justice Jackson’s Review of litigation costs is denying 'Access to Justice'.

Jason Smart, group chief executive of LitComp said: “ATE premiums, such as those provided by LitComp, offer individuals and companies an equal opportunity to access litigation services without it costing them a fortune.

“The review was designed to look at ways of reducing litigation costs and to promote Access to Justice. By suggesting that ATE premiums (and success fees), which are the backbone of Access to Justice, should be irrecoverable; Lord Justice Jackson is denying Access to Justice and potentially destroying the litigation services market which has developed to support those claimants who cannot themselves fund litigation for bona fide claims.

“Lord Justice Jackson’s suggestion to abolish referral fees will, if enacted, have a profound impact on the legal services sector which is already at considerable risk due to the impending implementation of Alternative Business Structures under the Legal Services Act 2007.

“The introduction of contingency fees and cost shifting, will inevitably lead to an increase in frivolous and vexatious litigation and no doubt satellite litigation on costs.

“Standalone BTE is totally unaffordable to most socioeconomic categories, and as seen by recent reports based on current premium levels, it is often a loss making business. Therefore, it is not a viable alternative to Conditional Fee Agreements and ATE insurance which is fit for purpose.”