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Civil Litigation Bill Introduced to Scottish Parliament

The Civil Litigation (Expenses and Group Proceedings) (Scotland) Bill, which aims to make civil justice more affordable and accessible for all, has been published in the Scottish Parliament.

If the Bill is passed by Parliament it will:

  • make the cost of court action more predictable at the outset,
  • for the first time allow solicitors, as well as claims management companies, to offer damages based agreements, which are a form of ‘no win, no fee’ agreement where the fee is calculated as a percentage of the damages recovered,
  • introduce a sliding cap mechanism to make the legal fees in such cases more predictable,
  • protect people from facing a large expenses bill if they do not win personal injury claims, and
  • enable groups of people to sue in the civil courts where they have the same or a similar claim against the same defender or defenders. Under current Scots law, such cases have to be pursued separately.

“We know from Sheriff Principal Taylor’s review that the potential costs involved in civil court action can deter many people from pursuing legal action even where they have a justified claim,” commented Minister for Legal Affairs Annabelle Ewing. “That is not acceptable and is something this Bill will address by creating a more accessible, affordable and equitable civil justice system for Scotland.”

“This legislation will expand the range of funding options available to pursuers while increasing protection from potentially crippling court costs,” she added. “It will also, for the first time, allow multi-party actions in the Scottish civil courts – an important reform that will widen access to justice.”

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For expert legal advice on civil litigation in Scotland then contact our specialist litigation lawyers today.

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