Success fees could be introduced for employers' liability (EL) disease claims if mediation by the Civil Justice Council (CJC) is successful

CJC secretary Bob Musgrove said discussions were at an advanced stage, and he hoped for an outcome to the mediation process before the end of the year.

The mediation follows on from the agreement of success fees for EL accident claims. Under that system, solicitors are entitled to success fees of 25% of costs in cases that settle before trial, and 100% in cases that go to trial.

Success fees are the amounts paid to a claimant's solicitor by an insurer in 'no-win, no-fee' cases in the event a claimant wins an EL case.

The structure for disease claims success fees is under discussion, but Musgrove said it "may be similar to that of EL accident claims".

If the mediation over disease claims is successful, the CJC will look at introducing success fees for public liability claims.

The final part of the CJC's mediation programme would be for after-the-event premiums, Musgrove said.