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Sheriff Principal Taylor publishes civil litigation review

A package of proposals to change the system of expenses and funding of civil litigation has been unveiled following an independent review by the former Sheriff Principal of Glasgow and Strathkelvin, Sheriff Principal James Taylor.

Under the changes recommended by Sheriff Principal Taylor solicitors will be able to offer their clients “no win – no fee” agreements in terms of which their fee is calculated as a percentage of the damages recovered. The maximum percentage which can be deducted from damages in personal injury cases would be set on a sliding scale in which the percentage reduces as the award increases.

The report also recommends that a pursuer in a personal injury action should no longer run the risk of having to pay the defender’s expenses should the court action fail, except in very limited circumstances. This will remove the fear of individual pursuers having to pay a lot of money to the defender’s solicitors should they lose. Such a fear can result in good claims not being pursued.

Sheriff Principal Taylor claims that if the recommendations in the Report are implemented, they will go a long way towards eliminating the barriers that currently prevent people going to court and improve access to justice.

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