Two of the ‘big beasts’ of the injury world are to lead the new Civil Justice Council (CJC) working group set up to consider fixed recoverable costs (FRC) in clinical negligence claims with a value of £25,000 or less, it has emerged.
Leading defendant insurance lawyer Andrew Parker has been named chair, with David Marshall vice-chair.
Mr Parker is head of strategic litigation at DAC Beachcroft, with a wide-ranging agenda across injury claims. He is also a former president of the Forum of Insurance Lawyers and a current solicitor member of the CJC, which is why he is the chair.
Mr Marshall, managing partner at south London firm Anthony Gold, is a clinical negligence lawyer and former Association of Personal Injury Lawyers president. He currently chairs the Law Society’s civil justice committee.
The CJC said further membership of the group would be announced in due course.
The terms of reference are:
- To consider and recommend an improved process for clinical negligence claims, where the claim has a value of £25,000 or less;
- To draw up (i) a structure for FRC for such cases to attach to the new process, (ii) figures for FRC in the proposed structure, and (iii) figures for the cost of expert reports;
- To have regard to how any improved process or scheme of FRC might affect issues of patient safety, including the way in which case outcomes are reported back to healthcare providers for learning purposes;
- To consider how expert reports should be commissioned and funded, including the feasibility of single joint experts for at least some claims, as part of the improved process;
- To report with recommendations by the end of September 2018.
The working party was set up following last week’s long-awaited publication of the Department of Health’s report on its consultation on introducing FRC.