Articles From the Team

Recent developments in Personal Injury law and the effect on Claimant PI

As you’ll be aware, the announcement of the upcoming election in June has been a major talking point this month. How the result plays out and what it means for the country remains to be seen. The question that many personal injury lawyers will concern themselves with is what impact will this have on the impending reforms and what does mean for my progression?

The date previously earmarked for ‘sweeping changes’ was October 2018 but as a result of Theresa May’s announcement, the Prisons & Court Bill has been dropped. MPs on the bill committee, which had yet to clear committee stage, unanimously voted to scrap the legislation. It seems unlikely that plans will be abandoned completely, and no doubt insurers will continue to push the Government on this much debated topic. Most likely, this will result in the reforms being delayed and the approach re-assessed at some point in the summer of 2019. You would hope, that this affords the concerned parties an opportunity to collaborate and decide how best to make the reforms appear palatable to all involved.

What does this mean for the long term prospects of my current role? As a claimant lawyer, this is a question that you may well be asking yourself and rightly so, as it would be unwise to assume that the current process will remain the same indefinitely. As a specialist personal injury recruiter, I note that the majority of applications that I get for defendant personal injury roles lately come from lawyers from a claimant background. The majority of these candidates cite the impending reforms as their primary reason for seeking a move away. Certainly in the Midlands we have seen a big up turn in lower level defendant personal injury recruitment as defendant firms have expanded their teams that handle high volume, low value RTA claims. Conversely, we have seen less claimant 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.

Will a top tier defendant firm consider a claimant lawyer? A common misconception is that you would need to come from a defendant background to be considered. In reality, the majority of firms are very open to considering lawyers from a claimant background as they are able to provide a unique insight when assessing a case on the opposite end of the spectrum. Needless to say, litigation experience is still essential in most cases but for the junior roles candidates with pre-litigation/ portal experience will also be considered.

How buoyant is the defendant personal injury market? It’s likely that the market for defendant personal injury recruitment will continue to remain buoyant and there will still be a need for junior and experienced defendant personal injury lawyers particularly those with litigation experience. Insurance fraud solicitors are still in high demand and not just to focus on motor fraud. Similarly, the defendant clinical negligence market remains strong and firms are regularly recruiting for clinical negligence lawyers with NHSLA panel experience.

I specialise in personal injury and insurance recruitment across the Midlands and am currently working with large international and national personal injury practices that are recruiting for defendant or claimant lawyers looking to cross over to defendant practice into their RTA, EL/PL Insurance Fraud & Clinical Negligence teams.

If you are actively seeking a move away from your current role or would be interested in having a discussion regarding your concerns with the impact of the impending reforms on your role, please contact BCL Legal or call 0845 241 0933.

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