Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill

Memorandum submitted by Caroline Sergeant, Solicitor (LA 40)

I have been following the progress of this bill and have considered its contents, the evidence given on 12th July 2011 and the memoranda submitted by a number of interested parties. As a Personal Injury solicitor endeavouring to act in the best interests of my claimant clients I agree with a lot of the concerns raised but there is one omission which I am eager to have addressed.

At present claims involving children and patients cannot be compromised without approval of the Court. The compensation is then invested by the Court Funds Office. If the payment of success fees and ATE policies shifts from defendants to claimants am I expected to ask for an Order for payment to me of the success fee ( up to 25% of the damages) and the cost of the ATE policy out of the child’s damages or am I supposed to ask the parents to pay?

July 2011

Prepared 20th July 2011