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Civil litigation is a legal dispute between two or more parties that seek money damages or specific performance rather than criminal sanctions.

A lawyer who specializes in civil litigation is known as a “litigator” or “trial lawyer.” Lawyers who practice civil litigation represent parties in trials, hearings, arbitrations and mediations before administrative agencies, foreign tribunals and federal, state and local courts. Civil litigation encompasses a broad range of disputes. Civil litigators generally specialize in one or two specific practice areas.

Types of Civil Litigation

Several common types of civil litigation include:

Civil litigation is a process for resolving public and private legal disputes on civil matters through negotiation or through the courts. In 1999, new rules (the Civil Procedure Rules) were introduced in order to improve access to justice. These are also known as the Woolf Reforms because they were developed by Lord Woolf.

Lord Justice Jackson has recommended sweeping changes to litigation funding and solicitors’ costs.

Many of the recommendations in Lord Jackson’s review of civil litigation costs will require careful scrutiny and significant impact assessments before being implemented.

Key proposals in Lord Justice Jackson’s final report include:

  • success fees and ATE insurance premiums should cease to be recoverable
  • awards of general damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity to be increased by 10 per cent
  • amount of damages that lawyers may deduct from a client’s damages award for success fees to be capped at 25 per cent of damages, excluding any damages referable to future care or future losses
  • referral fees should not be permitted for solicitors in respect of personal injury cases
  • fixed costs
  • non-recoverability of CFA success fees and ATE premiums
  • proportionality
  • case management/costs management and budgeting
  • qualified one way costs shifting

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