A new personal injury group has been set up by the Birmingham Law Society. The group will concentrate on the planned shake up of the legal aid system and the effects this will have on personal injury solicitors and claimants in the West Midlands.
Personal injury lawyers normally represent the claimant on a no win no fee basis meaning that if the claim is unsuccessful, the client does not pay his lawyer’s legal fees.
Under the current system, legal aid is available to sufferers of serious medical negligence. However, the Ministry of Justice is proposing to revamp the way these cases are handled in England and Wales.
West Midlands solicitors are concerned that the reforms will reduce access to justice for a lot of people as well as reducing the standards of quality in the personal injury market.
Caroline Coates, the chair of the new group, said the initiative provided a great opportunity to debate current issues and investigate some of the more controversial proposals such as those surrounding referral fees.
The first meeting of the personal injury group was held on the 26th of July and the group is now setting down a plan of action for the next 12 months.