Review of Expenses and Funding of Civil Litigation in Scotland, under Sheriff Principal Taylor, invites contributions form the profession as to where they consider change is required

The Review of Expenses and Funding of Civil Litigation in Scotland, under the chairmanship of Sheriff Principal James Taylor, has commenced its work.

The terms of reference for the Review are:

“To review the costs and funding of civil litigation in the Court of Session and sheriff court in the context of the recommendations of the Scottish Civil Courts Review, and the response of the Scottish Government to that review.

“In undertaking this review, to:

  • consult widely, gather evidence, compare our expenses regime with those of other jurisdictions and have regard to research and previous enquiries into costs and funding, including the Civil Litigation Costs Review of Lord Justice Jackson;
  • consider issues in relation to the affordability of litigation; the recoverability and assessment of expenses; and different models of funding litigation (including contingency, speculative and conditional fees, before- and after-the-event insurance, referral fees and claims management);
  • consider the extent to which alternatives to public funding may secure appropriate access to justice, and pay particular attention to the potential impact of any recommendations on publicly funded legal assistance;
  • have regard to the principles of civil justice outlined in Chapter 1, paragraph 5 of the Civil Courts Review;
  • consider other factors and reasons why parties may not litigate in Scotland;
  • report with recommendations to Scottish ministers, together with supporting evidence, within 18 months of the work commencing.”

A reference group has been set up to identify what may be considered to be deficiencies in the current system and, after consultation, to assist the chairman in identifying solutions to the deficiencies identified. Membership of the group, which is not yet finalised, includes Ian Johnston, claims manager (technical), Aviva; Paul Wade, solicitor; Wendy Sheehan, solicitor; Joyce Cullen, solicitor; Ronnie Conway, solicitor; Andrew Smith QC; Shona Haldane QC; Paul Brown, chief executive, Legal Services Agency; Professor Alan Paterson; Professor John Sawkins; and Lindsay Montgomery, chief executive, Scottish Legal Aid Board. A consultation paper will be issued in the autumn.

One of the basic premises of the Review is that any recommendation should address an identifiable mischief in Scotland’s expenses and funding regime. To that end, the Review welcomes contributions from members of the profession as to where they consider change is required. Comments may then be invited on such suggestions in the consultation paper. 

  • Contributions to the Review should be sent to Kay McCorquodale, Secretary to the Review, at Area 3 G South, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh EH6 6QQ or, if by email, to Please advise if your response should be treated as confidential.
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