The new president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), John Spencer, has argued that had the Lord Chancellor been legally qualified, he would not have overseen the sequence of harsh reform and change to the personal injury industry.
Speaking at last weeks APIL annual conference, John Spencer labelled it a ‘sad day’ when Lord Chancellors ceased to have legal qualifications and laid into the substance behind the Government reforms that have hit the industry so badly since their inception in April 2013.
He told the conference: “While there is no doubt that legally trained lord chancellors haven’t always got it right in the past, I find it hard to believe a lawyer would have allowed the relentless, de facto, attach on injured people and indifference to access to justice we’ve seen over recent years.
“And I really find it hard to believe a Lord Chancellor, with a grounding in the law, would ever countenance the suggestion that court fees should actually generate profit in civil cases, as has been suggested in a recent government consultation.”
Mr Spencer set out a rousing tone as he begins his reign as president of the not for profit representative body for personal injury lawyers and he is the first president to have previously held the position of chairman for the Motor Accident Solicitors Society (MASS).
He will certainly have won favour among his peers in his debut in the role with a combative speech targeting the ABI and government over the handling of such important issues as the terms of the Mesothelioma Bill.
In his speech he was heavily critical of the plans set in place and of the insurers for raking in the profits while victims of the asbestos related disease, are left out of pocket.
He said: “Why shouldn’t people with mesothelioma, who are forced to use the scheme because their insurers can’t be traced, have to give up some of their damages? Why can’t the insurers, who’ve taken and invested profits from premiums over the decades, do the right thing and pass on some of that profit to ensure these people receive 100% of their compensation? It should be socially unacceptable for them for them to even consider not doing so.”
Mr Spencer went on to vow to keep APIL pushing forward their agenda to achieve this for the victims of this terrible illness as well as ensure the government stays committed to seeing off pre-medical offers from the claims process altogether.
1. John Spencer Blog; http://john-spencer.blogspot.co.uk/