MASS warn against rushing review of Jackson reform problems

This article was published on: 10/11/13

Craig Budsworth

MASS (Motor Accident Solicitors Society) has expressed worry that a review of the problems with the Jackson reforms could come too soon to identify the real issues.

The review will focus on the three areas of the reforms that so far have proved to be problematic for lawyers with the judge who was charged with implementing the Jackson Reforms, Justice Ramsey, leading the review team.

Speaking about MASS‘s concerns about the rushing the review was Chairman, Craig Budsworth (pictured) who said: “Some caution has to be given to the fact further change at such an early stage may well miss some of the opportunities to understand the full impact of the reforms.

“There are so many unforeseen consequences of the Jackson reforms that we are not going to see until a lot of files are brought to litigation in 12 months or more. I welcome what (Ramsey) is doing but with caution because there has been so much change so far that has got to bed-in first.”

From the 1st of April 2013 the government introduced a number of changes based on the recommendation of Lord Justice Jackson including the referral fee ban which forced the personal injury industry to change the way it works or as has happened in a lot of cases pack their bags and leave the industry.

Many of these changes were heavily influenced by the lobbying of the insurance sector who were pursuing the opportunity to tighten up the cost that personal injury claims bring to them but even they have shown caution on the topic of a review.

Focus team member for the Forum of Insurance Lawyers costs sector, Kelvin Farmaner also commented on the review saying: “It is probably a bit too early to start reviewing the bigger picture of whether these reforms are working. It is hard to review something when you haven’t really seen what impact it might have.

“Any kind of tweaking on technical points is sensible and won’t have any major effect on claimant lawyers and insurers, but any other changes are likely to have a knock on effect.”

The review is expected to be concluded by April 2014.

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1. MASS;