Lord Woolf was commissioned to write his Access to Justice reports which saw the creation of the Civil Procedure Rules in April 1999. The aim of the Civil Procedure Rules was to eliminate the defects in the civil justice system which were identified as being: too expensive, too slow, lacking equality between powerful and wealthy litigants and under-resourced litigants, too uncertain in terms of the length and cost of litigation, too fragmented and too adversarial.
What law would you like to see changed?
The pre-action protocol for professional negligence cases is in need of amendment. The intention is to encourage settlement. Instead, potential defendants often exhaust the three-month period of time before providing a response defending the claim in its entirety.
What is the most exciting work you’ve ever done?
One of my clients had acquired a new site to develop which unfortunately had been taken over by travellers (persons unknown). As they were occupying private land it was for my client to obtain the relevant court order to move them on. I had an emergency hearing at court over the weekend, but I couldn’t get a process server to serve the travellers, meaning little 5ft 1in me had to do it.
Who in the legal world do you most admire?
Given we have just had International Women’s Day it has to be Lady Hale. She approaches every case with skill. She appreciates that the court must reflect the full diversity of the UK population. She has led the way for women to progress as senior judges.
What advice would you give someone starting out in the profession?
You must be prepared for long hours and sleepless nights but if you choose the correct firm, they will provide you with all the support you need to progress your cases.