Britain has been extensively "Americanizing" its litigation system for two decades, introducing conditional fees and other spurs to entrepreneurial lawyering, mass litigation formats, higher damage payouts, wider use of discovery, and so forth. And now:
A senior judge has been appointed to conduct a root and branch review of civil litigation costs prompted by fears that they are spiralling out of control.
Sir Anthony Clarke, the Master of the Rolls, has asked Lord Justice Jackson, a former High Court judge, to lead the review after lawyers and judges raised concerns that the high cost of litigation is damaging the UK's reputation as a leading centre for business disputes.
What a puzzle. Short of abandoning the rule of costs-follow-the-event, we've tried nearly every idea that has blown across the Atlantic from Yankee legal culture. What could have gone wrong?