CONDITIONAL FEE AGREEMENTS NOT SENT TO COVENTRY: KEY POINTS AND LINKS

The decision in Coventry -v- Lawrence [2015] UKSC 50 has not led to any major change in practice and procedure (in relation to a costs regime that had already ended anyway).

A link to the judgment is here 

KEY POINTS

Conditional fee arrangements were not incompatible with article 6 and A1P!.

“The scheme as a whole was a rational and coherent scheme for providing access to justice to those to whom it would probably otherwise have been denied. It was subject to certain safeguards. The government was entitled to a considerable area of discretionary judgment in choosing the scheme that it considered would strike the right balance between the interests of appellants and respondents whilst at the same time securing access to justice to those who would previously have qualified for legal aid. It had to find a solution to the problem created by the withdrawal of legal aid. The government has now produced three different schemes. Each was produced after wide consultation. Each has generated considerable criticism. As already indicated, once civil legal aid was constrained to the extent that it was in 1999, it became impossible to come up with a solution which would meet with universal approval. This is relevant to the question whether the 1999 Act scheme struck a fair balance between the interests of different litigants.”

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