The Shadow Justice Minister, Labour’s Andy Slaughter, has dropped a hint that, should his party be elected into power in the next election, then they may look into undoing some of the changes brought on by the current government and the Jackson reforms.
Mr Slaughter, who himself is a former barrister, was saying all the right things at yesterday’s Westminster Legal Policy Forum regarding the changes to fixed fee claims but admitted that it was still too early to judge the effectiveness of the reforms on a whole.
He did, however, add that any changes that his party would make to the current government’s legislation would be made through more consultation with those who work within the legal profession.
He said: “Politicians have a problem when they look for quick fixes or listen too much to one side of the argument.
“It’s a lesson we need to learn – we need to listen to the profession as well as the Daily Mail. I would not want a Labour Government to be prisoner to vested interests (but) we have gone too far the other way in ignoring experts in the area simply because politicians think they are feathering their own nests.”
He went on to label the decision to bring new reforms in without allowing the existing reforms to be assessed as wrong and stated his uncertainty how the profession were going to cope with the changes.
Mr Slaughter’s words are bound to offer some, if only limited, hope for the personal injury sector moving into the future. The real worry among people within the industry though is that the next election is still two years away and in that time if wholesale changes like the ones made by the current government as part of the Jackson reforms continue there might not be an industry for him, and his party, to save.