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9 May 2011

Corporate Responsibility Coalition

[PDF] Implications of the Jackson Civil Costs Reforms for Human Rights Cases against Multinational Corporations [UK]

The UK government has recently proposed wide-ranging reforms to the costs regime for civil litigation following a review by Lord Jackson. The…reforms will significantly restrict the ability of claimants and their lawyers to recover legal costs from defendants. They will have particularly devastating consequences for human rights claims against multinational corporations (MNCs)... [in particular:] MNCs will no longer have to pay a success fee in the event that a case against them is successful…MNCs will only have to pay claimants’ basic legal costs insofar as they are ‘proportionate’ to the compensation received…in reality…[this] will mean that wherever the costs of a claim exceed the compensation awarded (which, as explained, is almost inevitable in cases against MNCs), MNCs will have strong grounds for resisting payment of the additional costs, even where they were essential to the success of the case…[and] [i]nstead of MNCs paying the full costs, the reforms propose that a proportion of the costs are instead taken out of claimants’ compensation.

Part of the following timelines

Civil society fears UK Gvt. proposals to reform civil litigation funding will restrict ability of lawyers to take on human rights cases against multinationals

Cape/Gencor lawsuits (re So. Africa)

BP lawsuit (re Colombia)

Monterrico Metals lawsuit (re Peru)