By Max Clarke

Justice Minister Ken Clarke yesterday announced plans to reform ‘no-win-no-fee’ legislation. Suggested policies include raising the maximum payout fee for small claims courts from £5,000 to £15,000 and ending the ‘success fee’.

While the Consumer Justice Alliance and the Unions have criticised the scheme as reducing worker’s rights in favour of unscrupulous and careless employers, others have praised Mr. Clarke’s initiative in supporting business and reducing damaging and frivolous claims.

“We welcome the Government’s moves to reform the no win, no fee system. For too long, the compensation culture in the UK has been allowed to grow, as claimants currently have nothing to lose by bringing even frivolous cases to court,” said David Frost, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce.

“Employers should be able to concentrate on running their business, instead of being faced with the constant risk of legal disputes. The current system not only wastes business time and money, but often means it is easier and cheaper for them to settle even when faced with the most spurious of claims. Increased use of mediation should really help drive down the costs for both sides.

“But if we are to see real changes to the employment law system there needs to be a radical overhaul of the employment tribunal system at the same time. A key part of this will be the introduction of fees to access the employment tribunal system.”