Minster Law has launched a bid to become a market leader in employers' and public liability (EL/PL) claims, in its first public declaration of intent since being taken over by insurance giant BGL Group.
The firm announced its growth plans despite the introduction in October of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013, which will remove claims against employers for breaches of health and safety legislation.
Senior manager and head of the employer liability/occupier liability team, Adam Nabozny, acknowledged that the Act, together with the LASPO reforms, would restrict the market but was confident the firm could grow its practice nevertheless and leverage its RTA PI experience.
He pointed out that the firm – which was acquired by BGL in May in what was claimed to be the largest outright sale of a law firm – had recently fought a case successfully in the Court of Appeal.
He said: “The technical complexity of cases in this area of law, coupled with extensive changes in the court rules and new legislation, will cause difficulties for many legal practitioners and will hinder many claimants in obtaining the access to justice that they deserve.
“From a commercial perspective there is a lot we are already doing in terms of streamlining our processes and technology… to ensure we can manage cases efficiently, whilst obtaining optimum results for our clients.
“As a business we have significant experience in managing RTA Portal claims, so we are in a much stronger position than some other firms in the industry to adapt to these changes in the EL/PL area and offer our clients a high standard of service.”
Mr Nabozny, who joined Minster earlier this summer, hit out at the Enterprise Act as being a “significant step” backwards in health and safety protection.
He continued: “[The Act] really waters down an employer’s responsibility to look after the safety of its employees in the workplace… Everyone has the right to return home from work uninjured and should be free to take employers that breach health and safety rules to task.
“It also puts the UK in conflict with European Law. The full impact of this Act remains to be seen but Minster Law is committed to fighting for the rights of individuals injured through no fault of their own.”