Bar Council calls for an amendment order to the Conditional Fee Agreements Order and the Damages-based Agreements Regulations

22 February 2013

The Bar Council, which represents barristers in England and Wales, has called on the Ministry of Justice to correct a number of deficiencies in the Conditional Fee Agreements (CFA) Order and Damages-based Agreements (DBA) Regulations.  In a briefing in preparation for the Motion to Approve debate in the House of Lords on Tuesday, the Bar Council has expressed serious concerns about both the draft CFA Order and the draft DBA Regulations which, if agreed to in their current form, will seriously undermine Lord Justice Jackson's recommendations and reduce access to justice.

The briefing highlights the problems with the current drafting of the statutory instruments and puts forward suggested amendments that should be made in a separate amendment order to come into force before 1 April 2013.

The Bar Council is also concerned about the manner and speed in which the regulations relating to the Lord Justice Jackson's package of recommendations are being made.

Dr Mark Friston, Vice-chairman of the Bar Council's Remuneration Committee, said:

"The Ministry of Justice's approach to the Jackson changes is far too rushed. There are few official announcements regarding policy changes; practitioners are largely relying on rumour when planning for changes which are  now less than six weeks away. The situation is wholly unsatisfactory; issues of significant public interest require and deserve proper and detailed attention."