January 4, 2013
Responding to the Ministry of Justice's (MOJ) consultation on the Extension of the Road Traffic Accident Personal Injury Scheme, Spencers Solicitors has said that it is deeply concerned at the speed and manner at which the MOJ is seeking to implement sweeping changes to the structure and fees of the RTA Portal.
In its submission Spencers raises its concern over many aspects of the proposed changes to the current system, including the effectiveness of the proposed extended remit of the Portal and the future accessibility of access to justice for the injured.
Lee Foster, Section Head, Motor Litigation at Spencers Solicitors said:
"The proposed reduction in costs appears to be based upon the fundamentally flawed belief that the figures agreed in 2010 included an element to account for referral fees or marketing costs; they did not and the agreed figures related purely to work and supervision required on cases."
The Portal should be left alone and allowed to operate more effectively before a fuller assessment is made in the future. Already we have seen that an average of 50% of Road Accident claims exit the Portal currently, largely as a result of insurance companies."
"Whether for Road Accidents or Employer and Public liability claims, the proposed fees are fundamentally inadequate to provide a full professional service to the injured."
Spencers Solicitors also voiced concern that access to justice for many people seeking redress after serious personal injury claims is likely to be made more difficult as many law firms will find it economically unviable to undertake such cases. This will either seriously undermine access to justice, or force many law firms to recover up to 25% of costs directly from damages awarded to the injured person.
Read Spencers Solicitors' Response to the Ministry of Justice's consultation on the Extension of the RTA PI Scheme in full.