Thompsons Solicitors has accused the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) of double standards for failing to use the portal for lower value personal injury claims.
The firm said that in the last 12 months, it had lodged 172 cases involving the MoJ on behalf of injured clients but in each instance found that the MoJ had not registered itself on its own system.
The MoJ has denied this, saying it was “simply untrue to suggest we do not use the personal injury portal”.
Tom Jones, head of policy at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “Despite having forced through its use by everyone else in all cases, the MoJ hasn’t bothered to register itself on a portal it insisted was set up,”
“As they aren’t registered on the portal, we aren’t able to use the portal system to communicate with them as defendants. This means we’re incurring additional costs which they then refuse to pay,” he said.
“It’s an absolute farce that the government brought in major reforms to the legal system – and will bring in more if it gets its way – and yet can’t get its own house in order to use them.
“This is yet another example of the government making one rule for themselves and one for everyone else. They harp on about addressing the so-called ‘fraud culture’ and the issue of ‘excessive costs’ but they are being dishonest themselves – not adhering to their own rules and running up costs they won’t pay back.”
However, a spokeswoman for the MoJ said: “It is simply untrue to suggest we do not use the personal injury portal.
“Claims involving the Ministry of Justice or National Offender Management Service go through the portal via the independent company that handles claims on our behalf.
“We are absolutely committed to providing excellent health and safety, and the portal allows claimants to gain resolutions in an efficient and satisfactory way.”