I was tempted to leave LASPO alone for a few days and digest the Law Gazette & New Law Journal over the weekend, but then I saw the headline “E-working project scrapped”. (I also saw how many people were visiting my blog searching for such info and I thank you the readers for this.)
Intrigue made me read on to find that a major project to introduce e-working in the Rolls Building has been “shelved” due to “significant problems”. Having spent £9.5m getting nowhere fast in an attempt to enable court users to submit documents electronically, improve document management and listing, the project has been shut down.
£9.5m spent doing feasibility studies, fundamental reviews and deciding that the scope of the work required was so significant that a business case could not be made.
Judging by the slapdash efforts to put LASPO together, I would not have paid £1 for the Jackson Report and LASPO, and yet £9.5m is not enough to introduce email and cloud computing – things you can get for free from all good service providers. And yet they want to introduce LASPO, extend the RTA portal to deal with all PI cases up to £25k (and beyond at a later date) and introduce electronic billing, doing away with the experts who know about costs – the Costs Lawyer, and move to provisional assessment by Judges who are not interested and do the exercise summarily. All of the reports involved in coming up with the Jackson report had the vague whiff of being drafted on the back of a napkin (albeit a lot of napkins) disregarding all valuable evidence submitted by people in the know, whose jobs are now endangered due to the bureaucracy and idiocy of people who cannot introduce email and cloud computing having spent £9.5million thinking about how to do it.
Forgive me for sounding as if I am having a rant. But I move on.
Following the ping pong game between the House of Commons & House of Lords, it has been confirmed now that the recovery of success fees and after the event insurance will be scrapped as of April 2013, unless the case relates to mesothelioma, where a temporary reprieve has been granted to allow for further “reports” to be prepared. Surely these reports should have been undertaken BEFORE LASPO went to print?? We are still no nearer to finding out whether that wonderful thing known as Qualified One Way Costs Shifting (or QOCS for short) is going to happen. This means, Claimants would not be entitled to recover the cost of After The Event Insurance obtained to protect against the cost risk that still exists. Not to worry – damages are to be increased by 10%……once a case has been to Court to establish the precedent.
Might I be bold and suggest that LASPO goes the way that the e-working project has gone at the Rolls Building – on the scrap heap?