Bar Council continues its call for an Amendment Order to the Conditional Fee Agreements Order and Damages-based Agreements Regulations

8 March 2013

The Bar Council, which represents barristers in England and Wales, has again 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 Commons on Monday, the Bar Council has continued to express 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 remains concerned about the manner and speed in which the regulations relating to 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 marred by an artificial sense of urgency. Changes as far reaching as the Jackson reforms could and should be made in a way that gives businesses time to adjust to the all-important details. If the reforms are to work well, then practitioners' texts will need to be rewritten, software will need to be updated, and barristers will need to explore and learn about their new environment. Hardly any of these things will have happened by 1 April 2013."