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Call for Government to slow down personal injury reforms

Posted in: Personal Injury 

The Law Society has warned that rushed implementation of Part 2 of the Legal Aid, Sentence and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) risks adding to costs and clogging up the civil courts.

In a letter to Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor, Law Society president Lucy Scott-Moncrieff said more time must be given for the civil justice system to adjust. She said:

“There is no fiscal urgency to make the reforms quickly and every reason for them to be implemented to a timescale that can be managed by all. The new regime represents the most significant change to the civil justice system since the Woolf reforms in 1999. It will radically affect the way in which legal advice and representation is funded, and involve major changes to the rules. The legal system will need time to assimilate the changes if they are to be implemented smoothly.

“We are particularly concerned about the timing. The Road Traffic Accident (RTA) Portal Company has expressed doubts about its ability to meet the deadline of 1st April 2013 to bring in the changes needed to encompass employment liability and public liability claims. The protocols for the process are not yet complete. Both must be implemented together and in sufficient time for the profession to adjust and prepare, which seems unlikely by 1st April.

“Furthermore, the rules governing qualified one-way cost shifting have yet to be approved. Understanding these rules will be crucial to the advice that solicitors will give to claimants and defendants on their actions in [personal injury] claims. It is far from clear that the profession will receive the necessary advice and guidance on the implications of the rules in time.”


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