Jeremy Hyam and Kate Beattie acted for the Asbestos Victims’ Support Groups Forum UK in the successful challenge to the Government’s proposals to include mesothelioma victims within the funding reforms in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO).
The High Court held that the Lord Chancellor had failed to conduct a proper review of the likely effect of the LASPO reforms on mesothelioma claims, as required by section 48 of the Act.
The reforms prevent the recovery of success fees and insurance premiums paid by successful claimants to unsuccessful defendants.
The Court found that the consultation document was not in such terms as would provide the Lord Chancellor with what he needed for his review. The judge held that “no reasonable Lord Chancellor faced with the duty imposed on him by section 48 of the Act would have considered that the exercise in fact carried out fulfilled that duty”.
The consultation and decision had been defended by the Government with the ABI intervening in support.
The judgment is available here.