Justice minister Lord McNally has confirmed that Jackson reforms of civil justice funding will come into force on 1 April.

The peer had come under pressure during a Lords debate to delay implementation of conditional fee agreements and damages-based agreements to allow parties to prepare adequately for new regulations.

McNally said law firms would have to show ‘ability, nimbleness and fleetness of foot’, adding: ‘We are not persuaded that the timescales we have set are unreasonable, and we will not be deferred from the course that we have set.’