Personal injury lawyers respond to Lord Young’s report

Personal injury solicitors have given mixed responses to last week’s report on health and safety laws.

Lord Young had been working on the report since June and his findings were published last Friday. Many personal injury lawyers have expressed disappointment that a lot of the recommendations don’t address the so-called compensation culture in the UK.

The recommendations endorse the ‘no win, no fee’ ones made in the earlier Jackson report but also suggest specific changes to the law.

Young suggests extending the simplified claims procedure for smaller road traffic accidents to cover other personal injury at work and maybe even low-value medical negligence cases. He would also like to see advertising restrictions placed on claim management companies.

Ian Shovlin from Higgs and Sons welcomes the recommendation to curb advertising by claim management companies saying it detracts from the services provided by accident lawyers. Shovlin also said he would ban referral fees in an ideal world but worries that this would simply push the practice underground.

Senior partner at Collins Solicitors, Des Collins, expressed concern at the proposal to fast-track more personal injury claims saying that whilst this could be sensible in many cases, there are always exceptions to the rule. Even low-value clinical negligence cases can be difficult to pursue and it is costly to obtain medical records, he said.

Shovlin accepts this point saying he is also concerned got claimants in both medical negligence and employer liability cases. He concluded that Lord Young had left more questions unanswered than he had answered in this regard.

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