Solicitors Journal Discover the Future of Independent Personal Injury Firms after Jackson Reforms
Legal News: Solicitors Journal
The Solicitors Journal looks into the impact of the Jackson reforms and the affect it will have on independent
personal injury law firms.
Online PR News – 18-November-2013 – The impact of the Jackson reforms will not destroy independent
personal injury firms but warns those who wish to stay in the game need to accept the new rules.
‘Jackson’ is the shorthand term for the recommendations arising from the Jackson review and the
government changes combined.
The implementation of the portal extension is to include employer’s liability and public liability accident claims
up to £25,000.
The reforms will eventually reflect a significant reduction in the fees earned by the lawyers representing
personal injury cases.
The most common type of claim has seen its fees slashed from £1,200 to £500 for low value road accident
claims. It is these types of cases that will escape the portal and the new rules.
The cases that escape the portal are claims that are defended such as allegations and contributory fault
claims, these cases will be put into a fast track category, which includes fixed fee costs. The fees for fast
track cases have been cut by £700 across the board in order to reflect the government’s estimate of the cost
of referral fees.
In addition, success fees cannot be recovered as costs from the opposing party. Currently there is not a
significant market pressure to reduce the statutory cap of 25% of the cost of damages for success fees
however it will impact to reduce the success fees earned for lower-value cases including trips and slips.
The new rules do not apply to any claims or work completed or cases opened before April 1st 2013 and the
portal extensions mostly apply to accidents after 31st July 2013.
The majority of claims for personal injury firms operate with a mixed model to reflect the overall market,
mainly the lower-value claims. Most firms are solicitor led although a lot of firms use paralegals for the
Smaller law firms may find it harder to acquire lower-value personal injury work in the future given the new
The Director of Legal Policy at the Law Society, Mark Stobbs has shared his thoughts;
"there could be just five or six giant claimant personal injury law firms in three years' time". That may be
overstated, but further aggregation is inevitable. And Andrew Twambley of Amelans and Injury Lawyers 4 U
has said that "sausage machines and client care don't fit together, service has to go". But in today's
consumerist society is this really an option? The consumer expects both low prices and top service.
Whatever may be said about the large-scale "sausage factories", customer care is usually a high priority,
even if high-quality legal input is reduced.
Law firms both mega-firms and independent firms will need to examine the new developments in the personal
Visit the Solicitors Journal website for the full story and more information about Jackson Reforms as well as
information about LASPO Act.
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