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Judgments

Volume 461: debated on Monday 4 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the implications for (a) public policy and (b) the public purse of judgment in the Myatt v. NCB case. (139201)

We have not made a formal assessment. However, we were aware that significant savings on costs were at stake. One of the main drivers was to address bad practice by firms who were seeking to offload unrecoverable costs. We were similarly aware that some claimants would benefit from having costs claims struck down.

The implications of ‘Myatt’ on Conditional Fee Agreement litigation in the UK has been profound. It is a ground breaking case which has caused major problems for claimants firms who do not follow the Conditional Fee Agreement and ‘After The Event’ insurance regulatory regime. That regime was put in place as a limited exemption to the right of solicitors to profit from litigation directly. Parliament chose to tightly draw the acceptable bounds of that regime for reasons of public policy. ‘Myatt’ is one of the cases that reinforces the boundaries beyond which solicitors should not go.