The Foundation for Law, Justice and Society and The Centre for Socio-Legal Studies from the University of Oxford collaborated on a report titled Findings of a Major Comparative Study on Litigation Funding and Cost. The authors of the report are Christopher Hodges, the Head of CMS Research Programme on Civil Justice Systems at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford, and Stefan Vogenauer, Professor of Comparative Law at the University of Oxford, Director of the Oxford Institute of European and Comparative Law, and Fellow of Brasenose College.
The report dives into many issues and summarizes a study that measured a variety of costs in the legal forum. The report dealt with the issues that have revolved around litigation finance like the size of claims, the responsibility of judges and lawyers, maintenance and champerty, and the issue of access to justice. The issue of cost shifting in jurisdictions where there is the loser pays rule like the United Kingdom was also mentioned.
The report also discusses some of the new products being developed to help with court costs like legal expenses insurance (LEI) which is being developed in civil law states. The differences regarding how common law views certain issues like attorney fees and how the costs get distributed were also discussed. The authors offer up recommendations for lowering court costs and increasing access to justice. Some of their recommendations include settlement through mediation and alternative forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). They also recommend taxing lawyer fees and introducing efficient case management techniques in civil court.
Written by Lulaine Compere