Maximising ADR – a one way street?

“It is an ideal time to look in detail at how the potential for ADR can be maximised.”

Sir Terence Etherton, Master of the Rolls, Chair of the Civil Justice Council

The Master of the Rolls was speaking on the launch of the Civil Justice Council Consultation ‘ADR and Civil Justice’ in October: the deliberate use of the word “maximised” confirms that, in the view of the senior Judiciary the question to be addressed is not whether or not ADR should be used but how much and how often. The Consultation (responses are due by 15 December) feeds in to a number of reforms, reviews and reports that consider the shape of the civil process in the early 21st Century. It would be easy to take a view that the Online Court (non-tortious claims under £25,000) can be ignored, that the LASPO review (announced for 2018) will be an “it’s working / no change” review and that the ADR review is only really likely to affect higher value cases (which often settle and mediate anyway).

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Legal tech, lemonade & a claims world record

The story of Lemonade’s “world record” three second claim caused me to reflect on a number of ‘legaltech’ issues that flickered across my screen in the last month or so. Firstly the launch of the ‘smart Will’ by Legacy: downloadable to your smartphone for £5 per month. Legally irrelevant without the hard copy and ‘wet’ signature duly witnessed and expensive to boot where an old fashioned (effective) will can be obtained for just a few months’ worth of fees. But that said it does show where the law may be struggling to keep up with the virtual world. An e-probate that supplied the password to your next of kin for your vast Apple iTunes library of content would get around the “virtual” problem that was worrying Bruce Willis in 2012.

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