The Civil Justice Council (CJC) has published its report on reforming the existing Damages-Based Agreements (DBAs) Regulations 2013.
The CJC was asked by the Ministry of Justice, in December 2014, to advise how to clarify the Regulations. Firstly, the CJC canvassed 20 drafting issues with the existing Regulations, such as what expenses fall inside and outside of the DBA “cap”. Secondly, the report raises 10 policy issues for the government to consider in relation to DBAs such as whether the indemnity principle should be abrogated for cases funded by DBAs. Containing 45 recommendations, the aim of the report is to render DBAs a more useful funding option in suitable cases than currently is the case given that take up has been very low because of problems with the Regulations.
Rocco Pirozzolo, Director of Litigation Funding, assisted the Working Party in understanding Harbour’s funding model which enables law firms to take a share of the proceeds without necessarily having to pay all the costs of the case – as Harbour bears those expenses – such as counsel, arbitrator fees or adverse costs. In his view, the report shows, that “the CJC has worked hard to ensure that when the replacement DBA Regulations are introduced, they should be a lot clearer for users as to the way in which this funding option can operate. At present too many parties with good cases have been unable to take advantage of this significant aspect of the Jackson reforms.”
The report can be found here.