Don’t just moan about it; tell the CJC where the reforms aren’t working.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I am feeling a little Mitchelled out.
It seems as though every few days there is a fresh judgment interpreting some aspect of Mitchell, but with no real consistency – and first-instance decisions are of limited use in any event.
Then there are the tales emerging from case management conferences, for example of very different amounts of time being allocated by different courts to examine budgets, or whether judges are allowing costs lawyers to speak with them directly or channelling discussions through the solicitor, or what is happening when a trial bundle is served late – and so on.
Frankly, it is all a bit of a mess, and there is a lot of anger out there from the profession. But if there are any areas where lawyers feel that the Mitchell guidance - or the Jackson reforms more widely - are not working, you do have an opportunity to make this known to the people who count.
The Civil Justice Council is taking written submissions on the practical impact of the reforms up to 5pm on Friday 7 March (see here).
If you’re planning to rant, you had better do it concisely, because each submission is restricted to 3,000 words.
The submissions will inform discussions at a conference that the CJC is hosting for certain practitioners on 21 March, which - I gather - will be attended by some senior members of the judiciary including the master of the rolls, Mr Justice Ramsey and Lord Justice Jackson himself – who has not said much publicly about his reforms since they were introduced.
Litigation Funding has been invited to attend the event (which is being held under the Chatham House rule) and I will be reporting on it in the April edition.
So if you don’t think the Jackson reforms are working on the ground, now is the chance to communicate that to those who can actually do something about it. Don’t miss it. And if you can’t be bothered to respond – you lose the right to moan about it.
Rachel Rothwell is editor of Litigation Funding magazine