Ford seeks views on money damages claims

Date published: 30 November 2015

Justice Minister David Ford has published a Consultation on an Alternative Method for Funding Money Damages Claims.

Minister of Justice David Ford, MLA

The Consultation follows the Report of the Access to Justice Review Part II and deals specifically with the recommendations in the Report concerning an alternative method of funding money damages.  While the full Report is subject to a separate consultation, it was considered appropriate to hold a specific consultation on funding money damages claims to focus on the detailed recommendations in the Report and ensure the complex issues involved are given appropriate consideration.

David Ford said “A previous consultation on an alternative approach to funding money damages in April 2013 failed to identify a way forward.  In particular, I was concerned that the two shortlisted options entailed significant extra costs.

“I welcome the recommendations in the Report which set out an alternative method of pursuing claims with a Conditional Fee Agreement, otherwise known as a “no win, no fee agreement” but with measures to prevent a significant increase in costs.

These proposals could allow for most areas of money damages cases to be removed from the scope of legal aid, saving money without disadvantaging potential claimants.  Importantly, the proposals are designed to increase access to justice by allowing those who do not financially qualify for legal aid, but cannot afford to pursue claims independently, the means to do so.

A number of people have suggested the introduction of “no win, no fee”.  “This is a complex issue, and I am keen to hear the views of a wide range of respondents as to how best to give effect to the recommendations outlined in the Report”.

The consultation closes on 19 February 2016 

Notes to editors: 

  1. Money damages claims are claims for compensation for loss or injury.  Most money damages claims are for personal injury and include cases arising from clinical negligence, road traffic accidents, employers’ liability and tripping or slipping.
  2. Download the consultation
  3. All media enquiries should be directed to the Department of Justice Press Office on 028 9052 6444.  Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699 715440 and your call will be returned. 

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