Fury over MedCo fee increases amid culling of tier 1 MROs

Ben Elsom

A body representing ‘tier 2’ medical reporting organisations (MROs) has accused MedCo of “cashing in” on its members after it announced significant hikes in fees. It follows what Litigation Futures understands has been a culling of the 14 tier 1 MROs – the high-volume, national providers – during the recent auditing programme.

January 12th, 2018

High Court refuses to lift suspensions imposed by MedCo on MROs

Nick Lavender

A High Court judge has thrown out judicial reviews brought by two medical reporting organisations (MROs) against their suspension from the MedCo portal. Mr Justice Lavender said there was “obviously something unsatisfactory” about the approach taken by Med Chambers and Prime Medicals.

January 10th, 2018

New hot-tubbing and ‘costs of costs management’ rules come into force

percent sign

Variations that judges can adopt in orders for concurrent expert evidence – known as ‘hot-tubbing’ – came into force last week, along with a new provision that clarifies how the costs of costs management should be calculated.

December 1st, 2017

Scientists and lawyers team up to provide evidence primers for judges

Inaugural Harbour Litigation Funding Annual Lecture - 8 May 2013

The judiciary has worked with the Royal Society to create primers on scientific evidence as a working tool for judges. The first two cover DNA fingerprinting and techniques identifying people from the way they walk from CCTV, so as to assist the judiciary when handling forensic scientific evidence in the courtroom.

November 22nd, 2017

More bad news for government PI reforms: Experts not willing to accept LiP instructions


Expert witnesses in personal injury work are not willing to work with litigants in person if the government’s plans to increase the small claims limit for personal injury cases are passed into law, new research has found. It also said 38% of experts operating in PI have been affected by a law firm or other instructing party going bust.

November 13th, 2017

Hodge urges judges and lawyers to improve “scientific literacy” to understand expert evidence

Lord Hodge

A Supreme Court justice has called for judges and lawyers to improve their “scientific literacy” to ensure they did their job effectively in cases involving expert evidence. Lord Hodge also reassured experts that courts do not presume them to be “hired guns” who allow their instructing solicitors to call the tune.

October 19th, 2017

We need openness, not the “team view”, senior judges tell experts


Senior judges have called on expert witnesses to show greater openness and avoid “hiding behind the team view”. Also, medical experts were criticised for paying lip service to the requirement to include a range of views in their reports, while those in criminal cases were encouraged to be honest about shortcomings in their data.

September 25th, 2017

Civil Justice Council sets out streamlined procedure and fixed costs for deafness cases

hearing aid

The Civil Justice Council has recommended to government a streamlined procedure for handling fast-track noise-induced hearing loss claims and a fixed-costs regime to go with it. The report, publication of which has been delayed for some months, puts a strong emphasis on settling cases before proceedings begin.

September 6th, 2017

QC proposes ‘no disclosure’ rule for arbitrations

Peter Rees QC

Arbitrations should begin with a default position of no disclosure of documents, a leading QC has argued. Peter Rees QC said for many disputes, each side had “all the documents it needs” and disclosure was a “time-consuming and expensive luxury”.

July 21st, 2017

Rule committee takes ‘softly, softly’ approach to expanding approach to hot-tubbing


The Civil Procedure Rule Committee agreed minor variations that judges can adopt in orders for concurrent expert evidence – known as ‘hot-tubbing’ – but acknowledged the changes it has approved to the CPR are “not as radical” as had been recommended by the Civil Justice Council.

July 14th, 2017


Here today, gone tomorrow

Andy Talbot Arag

In 2016, it was AU Insurance Services. Last summer, it was Elite Insurance Company. Already in 2018, New Zealand’s CBL Insurance Limited has collapsed, leaving Alpha Insurance A/S in solvent liquidation and run-off. Often, it seems, these failures impacting the legal expenses sector get associated with the after-the-event insurance market, somehow remote from the majority of brokers. But most legal expenses underwriters, wherever they are based, will have feet in both after- and before-the-event camps. The precise causes and circumstances of these failures (and the several others that have occurred in between them) may be very different, but they have all left brokers, other intermediaries and their clients in the lurch.

March 15th, 2018

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John M Hayes

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