15 Aug

Although the UK has a robust and impartial judicial system, filing and pursuing a lawsuit often leads to a host of financial and social costs. Sadly, these costs can negatively affect all parties involved in civil or criminal lawsuits in the following ways:

Financial Challenges

According to a comprehensive review carried out by the Ministry of Justice, litigation in the UK can be costly with disproportionate costs in some legal areas. As such, 36% of adults in the UK have unresolved legal issues mostly related to small debt claims that would cost even more to resolve through the courts. Even the so-called conditional fee agreements (CFAs), after-the-event (ATE) insurance, and before-the-event (BTE) insurance are unsatisfactory because they can impose disproportionate costs burden on defendants, the Ministry of Justice explains. Moreover, cost shifting does not guarantee 100% reimbursement of litigation expenses because there are legal and practical limitations to the amount of money the winning party can recover from the losing party. In the UK, the losing party generally pays the winning party’s legal costs in a practice called “cost shifting.” For these reasons, it may be wise to seek alternative ways of resolving potentially litigious issues.

Social Burden

Research published by the Center for Policy Studies found that litigation is stifling innovation, encouraging adoption of repressive bureaucracy, fostering adoption of defensive practices and eroding professional autonomy. For instance, doctors in the UK avoid performing procedures that are deemed too risky or groundbreaking for fear of being sued in the event of failure. The growing litigious culture has also eroded trust across the British society and warped what is acceptable as normal behavior.

The Future of Litigation

Luckily, many litigants are agreeing to settle out-of-court with the NHS alone reporting that 45% of 63,804 lawsuits filed between April 2001 and March 2011 were settled out of court. This is in addition to 38% of claims that were abandoned by claimants.


When wronged/harmed by an individual or organization, you have the right to seek legal redress via the courts. However, doing so can be costly financially and socially. Fortunately, litigation solicitors in London can help you seek an acceptable and amicable solution out of court. Contact StrainKeville today to learn more about out-of-court settlements.