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Top judge hits out at success fees

Top judge hits out at success fees

Success fees in civil cases present lawyers "with an irresistible temptation to cherry pick" and impose "an excessive costs burden on the general public", a senior judge has said.

Lord Justice Jackson's comments come after a European ruling that fees in some celebrity privacy cases break human rights laws.

The system is already being reviewed, with the Government considering recommendations that lawyers should get a share of any damages awarded to the successful defendant rather than a success fee.

The Court of Appeal judge, who last January published a report on civil litigation reform, said plans to keep success fees in some cases "will simply make matters worse".

He said the system was being used "by all manner of litigants, who have no conceivable need for such bounteous support from their adversaries".

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