New review of CFAs announced

Government launches evidence based review of no win no fee arrangements

A research based review of no win no fee arrangements in England and Wales was announced today by the Ministry of Justice.

The study, to be carried out by senior academics, will look at whether the arrangements are still operating in the best interests of giving people access to justice in defamation, privacy, personal injury and employment cases.

Justice Minister Bridget Prentice said that CFAs were “vital in helping to give the public a voice in courts”, but that she was “aware of growing concerns that they may not always be operating in the interests of access to justice.”

Professors Richard Moorhead of Cardiff School of Law, Paul Fenn of Nottingham University Business School and Neil Rickman of the Economics Department at the University of Surrey, will consider how best to identify representative samples of claims; examine the nature of funding arrangements in these cases and the outcome; identify random samples of clients and legal advisers that may help provide more detailed data about the understanding of quality and change within the legal services sector; and analyse the unmet legal needs in the areas of personal injury, employment and defamation and privacy.

The professors are expected to report to ministers in the autumn. The report will help determine what specific aspects ought to be pursued in more detail and the feasibility of doing so.