8 March 2013Print This Post

PI firms will “undoubtedly fold”, says Law Society chief

Hudson: anger isn’t enough

Some law firms will undoubtedly go bust as a result of the civil justice reforms, the chief executive of the Law Society has admitted.

Des Hudson also said the civil justice reforms showed that the legal profession – and the Law Society – need to improve the way they make their case to the government and other policymakers.

Speaking at the launch of the society’s civil justice roadshows this week, Des Hudson said that on behalf of the profession, he was “angry that insurers’ advice to government seems to go unchallenged”.

He continued: “I’m angry that many solicitors who work hard for their clients are going to struggle – some firms will undoubtedly fold. But I am most angry that in all the spurious talk about fraudulent claims, many innocent victims with real, debilitating injuries will lose out. They will not get the redress they deserve; the individuals and companies at fault will have fewer incentives to correct their behaviour.”

However, he said that “anger isn’t enough. We have to learn, as a profession and as a Law Society, to explain better our role, to evidence the value we add, to our clients, to society, to justice.

“We have to redouble our efforts to engage with government and parliamentarians, and those others who influence policy.”

Mr Hudson predicted that firms were going to have to start deducting from damages to make a reasonable return for their work.

In addition to the roadshows, the Law Society will publish new and revised practice notes, while a work group is devising a new model conditional fee agreement and a model damages-based agreement, although it is not yet known whether these will be published before 1 April.

By Neil Rose

3 Responses to “PI firms will “undoubtedly fold”, says Law Society chief”

  1. Whilst I don’t doubt Mr Hudson’s sincerity for one moment, the Law Society achieved nothing here. Not one job will be saved due to whatever it was that the Law Society did. They have failed entirely to protect the profession.

    Lawyering, or at least non-City lawyering, is moving into a post-Law Society, post-solicitor realm in my view. If government, society and seemingly most importantly the insurance companies think lawyers’ fees should be restricted so drastically, its time to move away from the highly-trained, highly-regulated view of the profession that is now looking so 20th century. It’s time for the Law Society and the SRA to ease up on solicitors and the heavy and expensive regulatory burden we are under. If not, quite quickly most of the public is going to be receiving legal advice from largely unregulated advisers that will simply scoff at the Law Society’s outdated view of what’s really going on in the world of law for most people out there.

  2. Adam Manning on March 8th, 2013 at 8:20 am
  3. Mr Hudson, your words are akin to closing the door of the barn when the horse has been bolted, hunted down by cannibals, butchered and left to rot for the vultures. I cannot fathom a time when the law “society” has been a more fruitless, embarassing and ridiculously pointless entity than right now. The fact of the matter is, you joined in on the “claims are bad, we need to reduce fraud” and allowed the powers that be to cripple too many within your fold whom you were supposed to protect and now talking about it is all you can really do which is the hallmark of someone absolutely useless. You are all talk and frankly my dear it is not worth a damn. The fact of the matter is it is only a miracle that will save quite a lot of firms, and if the fee increase from £1000 to £5000 for PI has been decided to come into effect today (which I sincerely hope it doesn’t) then it could very well be game over for far too many. I am sure your words do not help and will not help.

  4. Voiceofreason on March 8th, 2013 at 10:25 am
  5. FACT – APIL MASS and the Law Society picked the wrong enemy in trying to blame CMCs for everything – every time AJAG and the CSC tried to point out that they should have joined forces against the insurers the arrogance of APIL MASS etc was breathtaking – yet again today APIL have targeted CMCs for all the evils of Whiplash and yet again they have missed the point completely – the insurers rightly laugh at APIL MASS and the Law Society as they score yet another own goal – have they learnt nothing!!!!!

  6. Andy Wigmore on March 11th, 2013 at 10:13 am