Woolf Reforms


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Woolf Reforms

the reforms to the civil justice system in England and Wales that followed the review of the system undertaken by Lord Woolf These are now implemented by Civil Procedure Rules. A central feature of the reforms was that cases should be allocated to an appropriate ‘TRACK’ depending upon their value. Also important was the idea that once a case is allocated to a track judges should manage its progress rather than, as in the past, that the parties and their lawyers should be in control of the speed at which the case progresses. Costs are now strictly controlled and are expected to reflect the value of the cause.
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Despite the best intentions of the Woolf Reforms over 10 years ago, commercial disputes continue to increase in number and still result in high cost and lengthy procedures.
LAST week marked the 10th anniversary of the Woolf reforms, which introduced the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) in an effort to make litigation fairer, more cost-effective and quicker.
The Woolf Reforms require documentation of training in Health and Safety.
The Woolf Reforms, perhaps the biggest change to the English legal system this century, apply to all claims actions begun on or after April 26, 1999.
The civil search warrant is part of the Woolf reforms which seek to make the legal process simpler, fairer and faster.
Grant Thornton suggests that, with litigation levels in freefall decline following the Woolf reforms, investing in specialist areas such as regulation, IT and employment could go some way to countering the trend.
Since the so-called Woolf reforms, the courts too recognise the value of ADR, now taking an active role in promoting ADR.
The trend towards greater mediation in UK legal cases following the Woolf Reforms may explain the fact that UK companies (23 per cent of those surveyed) are much more likely than US compa nies (13 per cent) to settle matters before court pro ceedings begin.
The new protocol is based on the Woolf Reforms which are designed to help parties in dispute reach a quick settlement and avoid costly litigation.
Evidence suggests civil litigation has improved in the last 12 months since the Woolf reforms, say law firm Eversheds.
Litigation experts at Martineau Johnson have seen their caseload for company and institutional clients increase since the Woolf reforms were implemented last year, despite the fact that they are taking fewer cases to court.