Civil Liability Bill – issues to be raised at Lords Committee Stage debates on 10 & 15 May

Line-by-line scrutiny of the measures in the Civil Liability Bill – which will reform whiplash claims and re-set the legal basis for determining the discount rate – is due to take place in the Lords at Committee stages scheduled for 10 and 15 May. A raft of relevant materials has emerged over the last few days and is summarised in this post. There are three key documents: the new draft whiplash regulations, a letter from Justice Minister Lord Keen to Peers and the list of proposed amendments tabled to date. Continue reading

MedCo: reviewing the situation

On 16 July 2015 the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) announced a formal review of the operational framework of MedCo. The review, which the MoJ clearly says “is starting earlier than planned”, comes just over 100 days after the mandatory arrangements for obtaining medico-legal reports in whiplash claims via MedCo took effect in early April. The Minister in charge, Lord Faulks QC, stated that “a number of new business practices have developed in this sector with the potential to undermine both the Government’s policy objectives and public confidence in MedCo.” MoJ has requested submissions by 4 September.

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Further whiplash & Medco reforms

policy definition

With effect from 6 April 2015, medical reports in in soft tissue injury claims brought under the Pre-Action Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury Claims in Road Traffic Accidents must be obtained via the Medco portal. This requirement takes effect via changes to the Protocol and the CPR & PD provisions on fixed recoverable costs.

Claimant solicitors will be required to undertake ‘previous claims’ checks on potential claimants and to confirm to the defendant that this has been done. There is also to be accreditation requirement, from 1 January 2016, for medico-legal experts to help improve the quality of medical evidence and drive up standards.

About the Author

akAlistair Kinley is BLM’s Director of Policy & Government Affairs.

Alistair is responsible for BLM’s engagement with government departments and regulators on policy and public affairs issues and consultations affecting the firm and its customers. He coordinated BLM’s market-facing activities in connection with the Insurance Act 2015 and the consultations which preceded its publication and introduction in Parliament.

He is a member of the Civil Justice Council (CJC), a regular speaker and experienced commentator on legal and procedural reforms and was a contributing editor to the Law Society’s Litigation Funding Handbook (September 2014).