Kerry Underwood


with 4 comments

On 11 November 2016 the Judicial Office announced that Lord Justice Jackson has been commissioned to undertake a review of Fixed Recoverable Costs, such review to be completed by 31 July 2017.

The review has been commissioned by the Lord Chief Justice and the Master of the Rolls and the review’s recommendations will be followed by a Government Public Consultation on proposed reforms to extend Fixed Recoverable Costs to further areas of civil litigation.

The terms of reference for the review are:-

  1. To develop proposals for extending the present civil fixed recoverable costs regime in England and Wales so as to make the costs of going to court more certain, transparent and proportionate for litigants.
  1. To consider the types and areas of litigation in which such costs should be extended, and the value of claims to which such a regime should apply.

Lord Justice Jackson has invited written evidence or submissions to assist the review to be sent to him by Monday 23 January 2017 at

This has been agreed with the Government.

Lord Justice Jackson said:-

“I have set out my present views on the principles of fixed recoverable costs in the final report of my review and in recent lectures and publications.

“I have been commissioned to undertake this review because it is integral to the overall package of reforms which I originally proposed.  Chapter 16 of my final report recommended that serious consideration should be given to extending fixed recoverable costs to the lower reaches of the multi-track after the other reforms had bedded in.

“Although the momentum is heavily for reform, the review will provide ample opportunity for comments and submissions on the form and scope that reform should take.  I am inviting the views of practitioners, users of the civil courts and any other interested parties on these points. Seminars will be held in London and elsewhere to discuss the issues.  There is a great deal to be done on the detail of the review, which will inform the Government as it prepares proposals for formal consultation in due course.”

Evidence submitted should take into account the concept of proportionality as set out in the Civil Procedure Rules, and in particular the factors set out in CPR 44.3(5).

Views are also sought on the level of claim which Fixed Recoverable Costs should stop and costs budgetting should apply instead.

Views are also sought on whether claimant’s costs and defendant’s costs should be different.

Suggestions are also invited as to how to accommodate counsel’s fees, expert’s fees and other disbursements within a Fixed Recoverable Costs Regime.

For Lord Justice Jackson’s recent lectures on Fixed Recoverable Costs see Fixed Costs – The Time Has Come and The future for civil litigation and the fixed costs regime.



I fully support the extention of Fixed Recoverable Costs and back Lord Justice Jackson 100% on this one.

Lord Justice Jackson: be bold. Extend Fixed Recoverable Costs to every civil case of every kind without financial limit.

Please see my related blog:-



Written by kerryunderwood

November 11, 2016 at 2:34 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Responses

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  1. Wow! – thanks Kerry!

    Let me think of a recommendation to L J Jackson that will completely destroy your profession.


    A very worried Costs Draftsman

    Neil Prescott

    November 16, 2016 at 11:19 am

    • Neil

      I understand that, but we cannot maintain a costs system, or any other system just to keep people in work. In any event if you re-focus and advise lawyers how to budget internally and how to plan their work to ome within budget on fixed costs you will have masses of very well paid work.



      November 16, 2016 at 1:16 pm

  2. It will happen but it is fundamentally wrong and unjust as were his reforms that preceded them and which have only reduced access to and quality of justice for both innocent claimants and defendants. The only ones who really gain are the insurers. Most lawyers who actually know what has happened and have a genuine concern for justice will oppose these reforms as they did last time but as per last time it will happen anyway(Kerry being a maverick who likes to wind up his fellow lawyers of course supports them).

    Jeremy Horton

    December 9, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    • Jeremy

      There was no-one more vocal than me in relation to the previous reforms, but Fixed Costs work well already and I fully support their extension. Talented lawyers have nothing to worry about. Time-serving clock watching time recorders have – and good riddance. There is a country called the United States of America where there is no recoverability. Lawyers do OK there. There are also employment lawyers – like me – who do OK in spite of there having never been recoverability. And family lawyers and so it goes on. Costs on an hourly rate basis obviously reward the second – rate plodders.



      December 9, 2016 at 5:24 pm

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