Eight parties have been granted permission to intervene in next week’s potentially crucial costs case in the Supreme Court.
The court will hear the appeal in Coventry & Others v Lawrence and Others for a case that has been eagerly awaited for months by lawyers, funders and insurers.
Judges will decide whether the pre-Jackson regime, of successful claimants recovering their ATE insurance premium and success fees from the losing party, was lawful.
A victory for the defendant, Coventry, may mean the government could be compelled to shell out millions in compensation to the defendant insurers who footed the bill for these additional liabilities.
The costs regime was introduced in 1999 and only repealed and replaced by the provisions of part two of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act, which came into force in April 2013.
This substantive appeal follows comments by Supreme Court president Lord Neuberger who said that a determination by a UK court that the Access to Justice Act 1999 infringed article six of the European Convention on Human Rights could have ‘very serious consequences’ for the government.
Neuberger added that litigants who had been ‘victims’ could well have a claim against the government.
The Supreme Court today revealed that the Ministry of Justice (and its Northern Ireland equivalent), Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum UK, the Bar Council, the Law Society, the Association of Business Recovery Professionals, the Media Lawyers Association and the Association of Costs Lawyers have all been granted permission to intervene.
The hearing will be on 9, 10 and 12 February, before seven Supreme Court judges: Lord Neuberger, Lady Hale, Lord Mance, Lord Clarke, Lord Dyson, Lord Sumption, Lord Carnwath.