One of the country’s leading judges has suggested lawyers may require more training to get to grips with the new regime of costs management.
Master of the rolls Lord Dyson said judges have all received training in respect of the Jackson reforms and that 'similar training may also be needed for the legal profession’.
Dyson told an audience in Jersey last month that difficulties in relation to disclosure show that successful reform is about more than changing the rules.
‘Many lawyers tend to be rather resistant to change,’ he said. ‘They prefer the comfort zone of the familiar.
‘Effective implementation of procedural changes requires the courts and the legal profession to understand the nature of the reforms and their rationale.’
Lawyers have faced new civil procedure rules since April 2013 that introduced proportionality to costs and forced them to draw up a costs budget at an early stage in proceedings.
But uncertainty over implementation of the rules - and the sanctions for breaching them - have prompted some lawyers to call for urgent reform.
Lord Justice Jackson, architect of the reforms, said last month that the new regime is here to stay.
Dyson said the new approach will be monitored to spot unexpected flaws and unintended consequences, and he stressed that effective implementation does not mean a ‘dogmatic, still less an ideological approach’.
But he said the Jackson reforms, as opposed to the Woolf reforms more than a decade earlier, benefited from being based on real data rather than anecdote.
‘I would hope that, like the Jackson costs review, any future reform in England and Wales is based on hard evidence.’