Government failed to listen

Government has failed to listen to experts over RTA fixed recoverable costs

28 February 2013

The President of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) has today expressed profound disappointment with the Government in its response to the consultation on fixed recoverable costs in the existing Road Traffic Accident (RTA) scheme.

Nick Hanning said: “The Government has failed to listen to those who have experience and expertise in the area. The referral fee ban simply means that firms will have to pay for alternative forms of marketing and so to reduce fees by reference to a notional referral fee which many firms don’t even pay is completely unjustifiable. It is especially galling when, despite asserting there is difficulty in obtaining reliable evidence, the Government has elected to ignore the very detailed evidence which was made available when the fixed recoverable costs were first introduced.”

CILEx, in its response to the MoJ consultation submitted in January 2013, provided direct evidence from practitioners on the likely impact of this move and raised concerns that, unlike lawyers who have duties to their clients and the court, insurers only have duties to their shareholders.

Mr. Hanning adds that the Government has not considered that the real losers from these recommendations will be the consumers: “The knock on effect of these recommendations is that while some legal practices may be willing to take on cases it will only be on the basis they are handled by very junior staff, who will have little or no training. Innocent victims of RTAs risk finding themselves either unrepresented or poorly represented and unable to access the expert legal advice they deserve and need.”