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12 Sep 2011

Owen Bowcott, Guardian [UK]

Ken Clarke criticised over restricting 'no win, no fee' agreements

In a letter to the Guardian, Amnesty International, Friends of the Earth, Oxfam and others warn that if the justice secretary...succeeds in restricting "no win, no fee" agreements then Trafigura-style cases could never be brought again...The Labour MP Kate Green has tabled an amendment to the bill seeking to exempt human rights cases from the government's proposed reforms...Under the Ministry of Justice's proposals, claimants would have to pay their lawyers' success costs out of any compensation awarded. Critics say such fees could easily exceed the awards; the change will deter many lawyers from taking up such cases...Martin Day, of the solicitors Leigh Day and Co, which brought the Trafigura action, said: "'If our work assisting people in the developing world to bring human rights claims against British multinationals is to continue then we desperately need the current bill to be changed."