In a recent interview on BBC Radio 4, Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly took the time to explain reforms to the no win no fee legal scheme in order to avoid the personal injury compensation culture from taking hold of the UK.
Mr Djanogly blamed the cause of the so-called compensation culture not on ambulance chasing personal injury solicitors but on the way legal costs are handled under the current system. As claimants currently stand to not lose even a penny in the event that their case is unsuccessful, claimants feel encouraged to bring suit at the drop of a hat, even if the chance of prevailing in court is close to nonexistent.
The new law the government will be proposing will change the way a winning claimant’s legal fees are paid, the minister said. The claimant’s damages will be reduced to reflect the need to pay these legal costs instead of having the defendant foot the bill, so claimant solicitors will not only be more cautions in picking and choosing clients, but claimants will have more interest in what their legal representation will be earning; this will lead to reduced costs by taking them out of the system.
The Justice Minister also said that he had no doubts that the manner in which the system currently works gives claimants a maddeningly perverse incentive to inflate their claims to astronomical figures. Mr Djanogly remarked that the mechanics of the system need to be reversed because not only does it have financial implications but cultural ones as well, in order to curtail Brits from unnecessarily rushing out to the courts to put in frivolous claims.