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Proposed ban on referral fees in personal injury cases – How will effect personal injury recruitment?
The formal consultation process on the proposals is due to finish on 31 December 2012. The decision about the ban is not up debate, the rules however are – it appears. With so much debate yet to happen all options would appear to be on the table and so it’s hard to predict the precise impact it will have on personal injury recruitment just yet but 1 or 2 things are likely to happen and in fact have been in play for a while.
As personal injury recruitment specialists in the Midlands we have certainly seen a big up turn in lower level defendant personal injury paralegal recruitment as defendant firms have expanded their teams that handle high volume, low value RTA claims. However here in the Midlands we have seen less claimant paralegal recruitment and the market seems to be left with only a handful of larger firms that house specialist claimant personal injury teams, seemingly because they are the only ones who can make any profit from claimant personal injury work in this rather fluid market.
The number of claimant solicitor vacancies has also decreased which tells us that teams cannot justify taking experienced people, possibly due to the work that is available and we do see less defendant PI solicitor recruitment at 5+ PQE perhaps due to pricing structures with insurer clients in that in many instances it doesn’t warrant expensive hires. However, there is certainly more defendant solicitor roles available than claimant.
Is this all this because of the Governments ban on referral fees for personal injury cases? Not entirely.
Its likely that the market for defendant personal injury paralegal recruitment will continue to remain buoyant and there will still be a need for experienced defendant PI solicitors particularly those with employers liability and public liability experience. Insurance fraud solicitors are still in high demand and not just to focus on motor fraud. EL/PL fraud is now in the spotlight and firms will look to bring process and procedures for identifying EL/PL fraud to their clients, particularly local authority clients, into line with those used for identifying motor fraud.
Will we see more first notification companies setting up as part of an ABS? Quite possibly and if so we may see a surge in claims handler recruitment with qualified solicitors needed to fill team manager positions.
The ban has just made the market more fluid in terms of the type and volume of personal injury vacancies we have seen and will continue to see in different areas of personal injury. From speaking to clients and candidates a like, fluidity seems set to be a continuing theme for the next 12 months or so.