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From objective medical evidence to ABS code of conduct – AXA calls for radical whiplash action

Whiplash claimants should have to provide objective evidence of injury – such as an MRI scan or x-ray – and not be allowed to claim where symptoms do not manifest themselves after a few days, leading insurer AXA proposed today.

July 16th, 2013 | 1 Comment »

New portal fee to cost claimant lawyers £200m

Slashing the basic RTA portal fee from £1,200 to £500 will cost claimant lawyers £200m a year, the Ministry of Justice has estimated. It has also argued that it would be wrong to assume that referral fees were not taken into account when the £1,200 was agreed.

February 28th, 2013 | 1 Comment »

Firms spending less on referral fees in PI, survey suggests

Referral fee payments as a proportion of personal injury (PI) fee income in the highest-earning 5-10 partner firms fell by more than 50% last year, although across all practices it average at almost 10% of total earnings, according to a survey.

January 16th, 2013 | Comments Off on Firms spending less on referral fees in PI, survey suggests

Evidence points to a £100 increase in portal fees, not a £700 cut, says Law Society

There is “substantial evidence” that the RTA portal fee should go up by £100, rather than down by £700, the Law Society has told the government. It calculated that solicitors should be paid £130 an hour for such cases, which would mean less than four hours’ work at the proposed fee level.

January 8th, 2013 | 1 Comment »

MoJ reform update confirms indemnity principle will apply to DBAs

The indemnity principle will apply to lawyers acting under damages-based agreements, the Ministry of Justice has confirmed. The latest update on the civil justice reforms also dealt with ATE for expert reports in clinical negligence cases, QOCS, referral fees and the whiplash consultation.

November 22nd, 2012 | 1 Comment »

MoJ set to more than halve portal fee and introduce fast-track fixed fees

The government yesterday unveiled its proposals for the new fast-track fixed fees – and with the basic RTA portal fee set to be slashed by more than half, they were even worse than claimant lawyers had feared. Jackson’s fabled Table B for post-issue fixed costs has also been cut significantly.

November 20th, 2012 | Comments Off on MoJ set to more than halve portal fee and introduce fast-track fixed fees

Back to the rumour mill

Events like the Motor Accident Solicitors Society (MASS) annual conference in Manchester last Friday are great for people like me. Aside from the interesting debates on stage, they offer the chance to catch up with those most likely to be in the know, as well as hear the latest gossip and rumours circulating during the tea breaks and the pre-conference receptions (thank you, Compass Costs and Premex). Of course, the April reforms dominated discussion.

November 12th, 2012 | Comments Off on Back to the rumour mill

The waiting game

So here we are, less than seven months from implementation of the Jackson reforms and the RTA portal extension, and there is an awful lot we still don’t know. We thought that at least the 10% increase in damages was settled – certainly the country’s top judges did. But as we reported last week, they’ve effectively had to admit they acted hastily in deciding as they did by taking the unprecedented (well, nobody I’ve asked has seen this happen before) step of reopening the Court of Appeal ruling in Simmons v Castle.

September 13th, 2012 | Comments Off on The waiting game

Peripheral vision

There was a time when it looked like the Jackson report was heading for the long grass. Instead, it has now been embraced almost in its totality by the Coalition government, with the referral fee ban being the piece of the famously “interlocking” reforms that few had expected to see until very recently. Though Lord Justice Jackson himself is becoming peripheral to their implementation, PI lawyers need to be planning now for a very changed future.

July 17th, 2012 | 1 Comment »

Leaked e-mail reveals ABI mulling bid to slash RTA portal fee from £1,200 to £150

The Association of British Insurers may call for the fixed fees payable under the RTA portal to be slashed by nearly 90% to £150 as part of its negotiation strategy, a leaked e-mail has revealed.

July 1st, 2012 | Comments Off on Leaked e-mail reveals ABI mulling bid to slash RTA portal fee from £1,200 to £150