Grant rejects formal review of impact of RTA portal changes as Law Society publishes model CFA

Grant: government does not wish to commit to a formal review

The government has no plans to assess the effect of next month’s changes to the RTA scheme before introducing further reform, justice minister Helen Grant has confirmed.

Meanwhile, the Law Society yesterday published its new model conditional fee agreement (CFA), although it is not yet clear when a model damages-based agreement (DBA) will be completed. 640-822 exam

Labour MP Meg Munn asked in Parliament whether there are plans to make an assessment of the changes being made in April 2013 to the RTA portal before introducing further reforms.

Ms Grant replied that there are no current plans. “The government is prepared to review and assess the effectiveness of the scheme should evidence be provided to demonstrate that this is necessary,” she added. “However, the government does not wish to commit to a formal review at this stage.”

Ms Munn also queried what steps have been taken to improve insurers’ use of the portal. Ms Grant said: “As part of the forthcoming extension of the RTA scheme, incentives have been provided for both insurers and claimants to keep claims within the scheme through to settlement.

“These include provisions in the pre-action protocols which will support the extended scheme, and the introduction of a revised and expanded scheme of fixed recoverable costs.”

The Law Society’s model CFA, accompanied by “interim” advice, came with a warning that it is “not a precedent for use with all clients and that it will need to be adapted/modified depending on the individual clients’ circumstances and solicitors’ business models”.

Asked at yesterday’s Law Society council meeting about the timing of publication so close to the start of the new CFA regime, chief executive Des Hudson blamed the delays in finalising the rules, but he accepted that the society could have done more to keep solicitors up to date on progress with the model CFA.

He said the society would consider doing this in relation to the work on the model DBA.