The Fourth Section of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has handed down judgment in the case of Coventry v United Kingdom. It has held that the regime established by the Access to Justice Act 1999, which permitted recovery of success fees payable under Conditional Fee Agreements and ATE insurance premiums by successful litigants from their opponents, was incompatible with Article 6 (access to justice) and Article 1 of the First Protocol (protection of property) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Sebastian Kokelaar (led by Robert McCracken KC of Francis Taylor Building) acted for the successful applicant, Mr David Coventry.

A briefing note on the decision and its implications may be found here.