The Woolf reforms into reducing the costs of litigation have yielded "at best patchy" results, said Lord Justice Dyson

Speaking at the Forum of Insurance Lawyers conference last week, Dyson said litigation is still perceived as being too costly.

Dyson said there were now some barristers who were basing their entire practice around costs litigation, and that a "huge cottage industry" had grown around the issue.

"The idea that a barrister can make a living out of costs litigation is a sad indication that the Woolf reforms in relation to costs have not been a great success."

On mediation in litigation, Dyson said the question of what would happen if a party refused mediation and was then successful in litigation needed to be considered.

He said the courts needed to consider in what circumstances it would be appropriate for a successful party to be deprived of some or all costs because of the refusal to mediate.