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The Woolf Reforms

The Woolf Reforms were changes to Civil Procedure Rules and were introduced in 1999 for the purposes of simplifying and speeding up civil litigation in England and Wales. The reforms followed a review of the civil justice system commissioned by the government and carried out by a committee headed by Lord Woolf.

Prior to the report claims had taken too long to reach court with insufficient effort being made to reach amicable settlements. The objective of the changes was to speed up pre- trial procedures and ensure that claims could be dealt with quickly, fairly and economically and as far as possible without court action.

The reforms require more pre-action contact and exchange of information between the parties and set time limits for presenting and responding to claims.

If a claim does go to litigation the process is controlled by the judge and there are three legal tracks as follows governed by the value of the claim:-

  1. Small Claims - up to £5,000 (£1,000.00 if injury only)
  2. Fast Track - up to £25,000
  3. Multi Track - exceeding £25,000

Judges will ensure that there is no stalling or time wasting and have the power to impose penalties for any breaches of the procedures.

The changes are of particular importance to claims for personal injury and should be of assistance to claimants who might otherwise be deterred from claiming because of potentially lengthy and expensive legal proceedings.

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Cyclist knocked over by car
Mr G was knocked off his bicycle by a car pulling out of a side road, fracturing his left leg. The defendant insurers blamed him for the accident alleging he had ridden on the pavement and not given way to their car. Cooks obtained photographs and sketch plans of the accident site and agreed with Mr G to issue his claim. As soon as the documents were lodged with the Court, the defendant insurers accepted liability and settled the claim in the sum of £5,420.58. He said:
"Excellent service – I cannot thank you enough for all the help and advice that I received from my Solicitor. No regrets choosing Cooks Legal 100%."
Mr G from Middlesex

See how much your claim could be worth.

Examples of Compensation Awards for Injury Claims*
Serious Back Injury
Wrist Injury
Serious Neck Injury
Serious Hand Injury
Ankle Injury
Serious Knee Injury
Serious Head Injury

*damages for loss of earnings and other losses and expenses are commonly paid in addition to the injury award and will vary in each case