Joanna Marklove
Joanna Marklove
Associate Director: Private Practice

Articles From the Team

Personal Injury Changes

As a legal recruiter specialising in largely personal injury matters the new consultation paper is certainly worrying and one to watch closely.

We are all waiting nervously for the government to publish its consultation paper on the small claims limit rising from £1,000 to £5,000 which was proposed by Chancellor George Osborne – effectively removing lawyers from the process altogether.

These reforms could dramatically change the way that people claim in the future, and how solicitors’ firms operate as these changes mean lots of people with soft tissue damage will find access to solicitors really difficult and in many cases will have to represent themselves. This is not an easy process, with medical records having to be requested and claims forms completed, something which some will find to onerous.

This will potentially deter people from bringing a claim for injuries they have sustained as they cannot negotiate the claims process. This massively impacts the roles of many solicitors as these types of claims are the bread and butter for a lot of firms.

APIL president Jonathan Wheeler (pictured) said it is ‘unconscionable’ to remove compensation from certain types of claim.

This dramatic change has been packaged on the basis that motor insurance premiums would come down, as insurers would pass on savings on legal costs, suggesting just RTA claims may be affected. However this remains to be seen.

'This will end the cycle in which responsible motorists pay higher premiums to cover false claims by others,' the Treasury said. 'It will remove over £1bn from the cost of providing motor insurance and the government expects the insurance industry to pass an average saving of £40-£50 per motor insurance policy on to consumers.' http://www.legalbusiness.co.uk/index.php/lb-blog-view/5099-autumn-statement-osborne-brings-more-gloom-to-the-legal-sector-with-deeper-moj-cuts-and-court-closures

There will be a 12-week consultation, which looks likely to start this month.

I think as a recruiter it is key to understanding our clients and how they will be dealing with these potential changes so we can inform our lawyers who are looking to make a move in this uncertain time. But I think we all need to stay calm; with change will come opportunity. The personal injury market has weathered significant change over the last few years’ and I for one am confident that the market will continue to react to the change and find a way to thrive.

For more information contact Joanna Marklove at BCL Legal.

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