My company has just been reaccredited with Lexcel for the 12th consecutive year. To use the Law Society’s own words, Lexcel is ‘only awarded to solicitors who meet the highest management and customer care standards’.
I believe we provide a valuable service to the public.
But, as a result of Mr Grayling’s dramatic cuts in fees for civil litigation, the number of staff in my firm has fallen by 50% in the last 12 months.
There have been swathes of redundancies in other civil litigation firms, and 1,000 law firms closed in 2013. Many lawyers, me included, are working much harder for much less, with the inevitable consequence that mistakes get made and deadlines are missed.
Yet against this backdrop, the civil judiciary decides that this is the right time to start striking out cases on account of minor, inconsequential delays.
Sir Rupert Jackson has a zealous commitment to ‘proportionality’. Where is the so-called proportionality in these draconian orders? Whatever he may have learned about with his Singapore experiment, I am afraid it had nothing to do with justice.
I have practised in civil litigation for some 27 years. There was not a great deal wrong with the system pioneered by Lord Woolf in 1999. But within a matter of months, these new changes threaten to render the civil system unfit for purpose.
Paul Mulderrig, Mulderrigs Solicitors Ltd, Rawtenstall, Lancashire