The Law Society has accused the government of hiding key information regarding the bases for the new personal injury fees after the Ministry of Justice rejected their freedom of information request asking for a full report into the future reform of the Road Traffic Accident Portal (RTA Portal) extension.
The demands came from the Law Society, as ministers prepare to push on with plans to slash recoverable costs for low value claims and expand the portal system for employers liability and public liability cases, despite there being no set date for the implementation of the extension.
Law Society Chief Executive Desmond Hudson (pictured) led the criticisms saying: “Presumably the government commissioned the factual study to inform its thinking on how fixed costs might be changed. The government should base its policy-making on a sound factual basis. The alternative is that the gvernment’s proposals are based on ministers’ own preconceived ideas or on lobbying from the insurance sector.”
He went on to state that it was the Law Society’s belief that the government were hiding behind a misapplication of the Freedom of Information Act in order to spare its blushes.
Next week the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and the Motor Accident Solicitors Society (MASS), for who Scott Rees Partner David Byrne is the Merseyside Regional Co-ordinator for, will go to the High Court to put forward the case against the proposed changes to personal injury fees as part of a judicial review.
This came after a consultation was launched by the government proposing that fixed costs should be reduced by £1,200 to £500 for road traffic accident claims up to £10,000, which concluded on the 4th January. There is still no update on what the response is from the Ministry of Justice, nor was there any update by Justice Secretary in regards to the extension of the portal.
1. Mortgage Solutions; http://www.mortgagesolutions.co.uk/your-community/2010/08/12/market-watch-the-lloyds-conveyancer-cull-20100812/