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The only civil litigation I do nowadays is when I (very rarely) sue for my fees, but in my experience / opinion the main problem in the English legal system is costs.

In very many civil litigation cases (in its widest sense, therefore including commercial litigation), both sides have an arguable case.

This is a fabulously expensive legal system where costs are themselves often a source of injustice.

I'm all in favour of clients being able to take on all the lawyers they want, but when it comes to claiming costs from the other side there has to be a meaningful limit on what they can get from the losing party if costs are not to be themselves a source of injustice, and then I have to agree entirely with the post made by Elizabeth King.

The real discussion has to be on what can be claimed in costs from a losing side. As a contributor to that discussion I would like to suggest that for many a case it should be the fees of one lawyer, (solicitor or barrister, take your pick), not those of every lawyer from a firm, plus barristers, who might have formed part of the legal team.

Many a case is not that complex that you need 10 solicitors, 2 trainees, a paralegal, 5 barristers, (or whatever), where, inevitably, when more than one person ends up doing the litigation, work ends up being duplicated. Fine, if the client wants all those people working on their case and is prepared to pay for them, but the losing party should normally, (if not necessarily always), be paying for just one fee-earner from the winning side.

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