Jackson Road Show

By | 13th August 2009

I travelled to Birmingham recently to attend one of the road shows hosted by Lord Justice Jackson as part of the consultation exercise following publication of his preliminary report. That exercise is now complete and we await his final report at the end of the year. The event was well attended, attracting about 150 lawyers, civil servants, trade unions and other professionals, with a keynote address by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge. Rupert Jackson’s two assessors, Mike Napier of Irwin Mitchell and Jeremy Morgan also attended.

Speakers included Professor Helen Genn, Anthony Hughes of FOIL, Amanda Stevens (Charles Russell and formerly of APIL), John Ussher of UNITE and Judge Stephen Oliver-Jones QC.

The message which came across loud and clear was that change is on its way and particularly in relation to areas of litigation practice such as disclosure. If lawyers cannot come up with a more efficient and cost effective way of dealing with disclosure, the rules relating to disclosure will have to be changed to make the process less onerous and therefore cheaper to comply with.

All this is of a piece with Mrs Justice Gloster’s view expressed at a recent Commercial Litigators’ Forum meeting that the days of courts filled with lever arch files are over.