Small claims limit for personal injury Contents

4The impact of raising the small claims limit

53.We now consider the possible impact of raising the small claims limit, in particular on claimants. We first look at how an increased limit might affect RTA-related PI claims, including the impact on access to justice for those with genuine, but modest claims, and the impact on claims by vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists. We then look at the potential effect of raising the small claims limit for employer liability (EL) and public liability (PL) claims and we also consider the issue of holiday sickness claims. Finally, we look at the potential impact on the judiciary and the courts.

54.When the then Secretary of State for Justice, the Right Hon David Lidington MP, gave oral evidence us on the work of his Department, we asked him whether raising the small claims limit would mean more people being unable to get representation for personal injury claims, leading to more litigants in person or an increase in under-settlement of claims. The Secretary of State expressed confidence that most unrepresented claimants would be able to pursue their cases without difficulty:

For under £5,000, [these cases] are not so complex as to always require a lawyer. There is nothing to stop a claimant from seeking representation, and it is true that they would not be able to claim back their legal costs if they were successful, but, again, for a relatively simple claim, it is a reasonable policy to say that it is the sort of thing where people, for the most part—there will be exceptions—should be able to do it without the need for representation.78

On the same occasion, Mr Lidington assured us that the £2,000 limit for non-RTA claims would “still make it perfectly possible for people to pursue, for example, industrial injury claims against employers.”79 We now consider whether or not this confidence in claimants’ ability to represent themselves in both RTA and non-RTA PI small claims is justified.

Impact on RTA-related PI claims

55.In broad terms, the insurance sector and its representatives supported the Government’s view that RTA PI claimants would be able to deal with the small claims process if the limit were to be raised; for example, DAC Beachcroft thought that RTA whiplash claims under £5,000 are “by definition simple claims”.80 However, some witnesses from this sector thought that adjustments would be needed. The ABI recognised the need for safeguards to protect genuine claimants, including improved guidance and “a consumer friendly way of settling liability disputes”; it also thought that a compensation tariff would provide transparency and certainty in determining a claim’s value.81

56.DWF, a legal business, observed that small claim hearings are carried out with “a relative air of informality”, but supported an accessible online process that allowed individuals to submit their claims.82 The submission of the insurers Zurich to our predecessor Committee’s inquiry thought that “genuinely injured victims who want to bring a claim must be safeguarded from those who seek to take a share of damages” [that is, claims management companies].83

57.Another insurance company, LV=, suggested a mandatory code of conduct for insurers to protect litigants in person (LIPs) from “sharp practices” on the part of insurers84 and Axa went further by suggesting that the ABI’s code of practice for insurers dealing with unrepresented claimants could become a regulatory requirement enforced by the Financial Conduct Authority.

58.In its response to the Ministry of Justice’s 2016 consultation, the Civil Executive Team85 considered that raising the small claims limit made it “obvious [ … ] that there are serious Access to Justice issues for those with genuine but modest personal injury claims” and that this would “thereby cause many claimants to be self-represented when bringing claims against parties backed by insurers who are able to engage the services of experienced lawyers.”86 Likewise, many witnesses to our inquiry had significant concerns about the potential impact of this change on access to justice; some, including solicitors Hodge Jones and Allen,87 drew our attention to the Supreme Court’s judgment in the Unison case on Employment Tribunal fees, which emphasised the centrality of the rule of law and the importance of ensuring access to the courts as part of a constitutional right of access to justice.88

59.Jason Tripp from Coplus, a provider of before the event insurance, considered there was very little distinction to be made between the complexity of a claim valued at £1,500 and one valued at £5,000.89 He told us:

…we survey our customers regularly, and they tell us very clearly that they want and need legal representation. They do not understand the operation of the insurance market. [ … ] In the absence of legal representation and advice, they would be left very unclear as to how to proceed.90

The Law Society agreed that low value claims can be as complex as those of higher value. Its submission included a detailed flow chart explaining how PI claims must progress to settlement, or alternatively to trial. We have reproduced this chart as an Appendix, below. It also provided a list of some of the commonly encountered issues and obstacles, including: obtaining details of the defendant and their insurer; obtaining interim payments to fund medical treatment; responding to allegations of contributory negligence; valuing general damages (ie, for PSLA); providing evidence of financial losses; knowing what should be included in a witness statement; and dealing with the DWP’s Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU) with respect to recoverable benefits.91 The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) drew attention to survey evidence indicating that over three quarters of medical experts working in the PI field would not accept instructions from an unrepresented litigant.92 Irwin Mitchell Solicitors had specific concerns about the ability of an ordinary consumer to interpret a medical report, or understand the law on liability (should the insurer deny liability or delay admitting it), or the law on vehicle hire costs and lost earnings. They also commented:

Allegations of “fundamental dishonesty” are regularly raised but dropped quickly when challenged by the Claimant’s solicitor. An allegation of dishonesty made direct to an innocent accident victim is likely to be very intimidating.93

60.Several submissions to the previous Committee’s inquiry questioned how poorer claimants would be able to meet upfront costs of their claim such as court fees and fees for medical reports and police reports; these are typically met by the claimant’s solicitor in the first place, as is the cost of rehabilitation in some cases, and the money for these fees and disbursements recovered from the defendant if the case succeeds.94

61.Many argued that the Small Claims track was designed for equal parties, and that unrepresented claimants would be disadvantaged by facing defendant insurers with legal representation.95 The Motor Accident Solicitors Society had similar concerns about inequality of arms,96 suggesting to us that financial obstacles to justice would be compounded by unrepresented claimants having to navigate barriers that included applications to the Motor Insurers Bureau97 should the at-fault driver be uninsured, untraced or driving a foreign-registered vehicle; obtaining evidence to resolve a liability dispute, such as witness evidence, photographs/plans and CCTV footage; and dealing with disputes over causation, which might involve obtaining expert engineering evidence.98

62.Some of these problems were illustrated by an RTA PI case history described by Minster Law, involving a defendant who denied any involvement in the accident; the claim took over two years before it finally settled.99 True Solicitors foresaw practical difficulties for solicitors advising PI clients on their liability for costs and disbursements because this would be determined by the value of the claim—that is, whether it is above or below the £5,000 threshold, an assessment that may not be possible until after evidence is obtained.100

63.Inevitably, there are difficulties in estimating the volume of RTA PI claims after the introduction of the Government’s reform package, including the increase in the small claims limit to £5,000 and the introduction of a tariff for compensation. Modelling the impact on potential claimants would involve assumptions about behavioural change which may not prove to be accurate. We have not carried out a modelling exercise. However, we note that the MoJ’s final stage Impact Assessment (March 2018) draws the following conclusions on post reform claim volumes after introduction of the package of reforms, setting out what it considers would be deterrent factors:

On the basis of the information received and the change in policy, we are assuming in this IA that 50% of claims [for injuries up to six months in duration] would proceed post-reform. This is based on the reduced amount of compensation payable, as per the new tariff, and also due to the fact these claims would be pursued under the rules of court applicable to the SCT and therefore legal costs would no longer be recoverable.101

The IA also estimates that the total cost to claimants would be around £990 million per annum; this sum is made up of loss of PSLA damages, special damages, and legal fee costs.102

64.As we will discuss in Chapter 5 below, the Ministry of Justice accepts that much work remains to be done to prepare for changes to the small claims limit and implementation of the other PI reforms, including the development of a new electronic platform that will be accessible to self-represented litigants. The MoJ has set up five expert working groups to consider specific aspects of the reform programme: a steering group considering the funding and governance of the overall project; an IT subgroup; a legal subgroup; a subgroup to consider the key issues in resolving liability disputes; and a subgroup that is considering advice and support.103

65.We received compelling evidence of the obstacles that would be faced by self-represented claimants navigating the current personal injury claims process in the Small Claims track, regardless of the value of their claim, and we conclude that this would represent an unacceptable barrier to access to justice.

66.While fraudulent and exaggerated claims must be prevented, given that the common law right to compensation for negligence applies regardless of the value of the claim, we conclude that more convincing justification is needed for the Government’s policy of reducing a large proportion of claims, including for non-whiplash RTA injuries, by means of raising the small claims limit, simply because the claims are minor. We recommend that the Government does not proceed with plans to increase the limit for all RTA PI claims to £5,000.

Impact on claims by vulnerable road users

67.The Civil Liability Bill will introduce a definition of whiplash injuries applying only to claims by occupants of motor vehicles; injuries incurred by other road users would be excluded. As noted above, the Government has not yet confirmed what definition of “road traffic accident” would apply to the proposed small claims limit of £5,000. We received a submission from the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA)104 and the Vulnerable Road User Group105 opposing the idea of including claims by pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists—often referred to collectively as “vulnerable road users” (VRUs)—within the proposal to raise the small claims limit to £5,000. Our predecessor Committee received similar submissions from Cycling UK106 and from Roadpeace, who commented as follows:

These proposals assume all road users pose a risk of false whiplash claims or fraudulent claims. This is not correct. Pedestrians and cyclists very rarely make whiplash claims.107

In relation to the MoJ’s consultation on the whiplash reforms, Cycling UK pointed out to our predecessor Committee:

Within the consultation documents no reference was made to VRU. The focus was upon whiplash, fraudulent claims and motorists, without consideration of the complexity of VRU PI claims, the different nature of the injuries typically sustained and claimed for, or their vulnerable status.108

68.Cycling UK estimated that 70% of cyclists’ PI claims involve a PSLA element of less than £5,000; these claims may involve substantial injuries such as a fractured collarbone, broken wrist or fractured ribs. According to the organisation, liability is often contested in claims brought by VRUs and/or claims of contributory negligence are made—for example, by suggesting that the VRU was not visible or did not take sufficient care of their own safety; in contrast, many other European jurisdictions have a system of presumed liability insurance, where a larger vehicle takes responsibility for a collision unless the contrary is proved.109

69.We note that the MoJ’s response to the consultation acknowledges that nearly 6,000 responses were submitted by cyclists, all focussing on the impact of raising the small claims limit on cyclists and pedestrians. However, the MoJ’s response does not discuss the concerns raised, or suggest that RTA PI claims by VRUs should be handled differently than claims by other road users.110

70.The Vulnerable Road User Group argued that, for the purposes of any increase to small claims limit, the definition of RTA should exclude VRUs. Access to Justice proposed that pedestrian, cyclist and motorbike claims be excluded from the whole package of PI reforms, on the basis that:

The reforms are targeted at low value RTA PI claims sustained in a motor vehicle. The nature of injuries sustained in a pedestrian, cyclist or motor bike accident are very different to a typical whiplash injury, more complex in nature and not open to fraud.111

71.Our inquiry did not receive any evidence to challenge this view, nor did any witnesses put forward positive arguments in favour of including vulnerable road users within a new small claims limit for RTA PI claims. We also note that the MoJ’s final stage impact assessment gives no consideration to the impact of including these road users within the new limit.

72.Taking into account the evidence submitted to this inquiry and to that of our predecessor, we conclude that there is no policy justification for including vulnerable road users within the reforms proposed for other RTA PI claimants. We recommend that vulnerable road users be excluded from any higher small claims limit that is imposed on other RTA PI claims.

Impact on non-RTA PI claims

73.Both our own inquiry and that of the previous Committee received some evidence indicating support for the Government’s proposal to increase the small claims limit to £2,000 for non-RTA cases—primarily from the insurance sector. For example, Ageas asserted:

[The increase] will have minimal impact on claims in that area as only the most minor injuries will fall within the £2,000 limit, ensuring that the more complex claims will continue to have necessary legal representation.112

Similar views were expressed by Weightmans, a national law firm, who considered that the increase would be unlikely to have any significant impact on claim volumes and costs, “as the average general damages in these cases exceeds the £2,000 limit”.113 Others, including Horwich Cohen Coghlan Solicitors, expressed support for an across-the-board increase in the limit to £2,000 for all types of PI claim,114 as did Access to Justice (as part of its proposals for an “Alternative Claims Framework”).115 The Association of British Insurers thought that consideration should be given to delaying the increase for non-RTA PI claims by 12 to 18 months after the increase for RTA claims—similar to the phased approach that was taken when the online claims portal was introduced.116 Delaying the increase to £2,000 for non-RTA claims was also advocated by Access to Justice.117

Impact on employer liability and public liability claims

74.However, specific concerns were raised by some witnesses about the impact of raising the small claims limit for employer liability (EL) and public liability (PL) cases. Unison pointed out that “[t]here has been no argument presented by the Government or defendants/insurers that EL claims are subject to a compensation culture,”118 a view that was shared by the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), who observed: “[t]here is no suggestion of fake claims by injured workers”.119 Thompsons Solicitors drew attention to CRU statistics, indicating that EL claims had fallen by 30% in the last four years—from 105,291 in 2013/14 to 73,355 in 2016/17.120 It was also suggested to us that these claims were less likely to settle: compared to RTA claims, Unison reported that a higher proportion of its own EL claims submitted to the online claims portal121 had initially received no response from the defendant or had liability denied.122

75.Some witnesses emphasised the potential complexity of EL and PL claims. In its submission to the previous Committee’s inquiry, Bates Wells & Braithwaite gave examples of two of its own EL and PL cases to illustrate this point. One case involved a PL claim against a contract cleaner at the client’s workplace, who could not be identified without considerable efforts by the solicitor; the case was only settled after obtaining evidence from an independent witness. In the other case, the client was injured by a PVC strip curtain in her workplace, a supermarket. Liability was denied until two months before a Fast track trial was due to begin. On the question of complexity, Bates Welles Braithwaite commented:

It would be beyond the capability of most members/laymen generally to deal with the procedural requirements of the [electronic claims] portal, let alone court proceedings involving medical evidence, pleadings, directions, discovery, witness statements, schedule of loss etc.

76.Usdaw’s supplementary written evidence included two recent cases that would have been issued in the SCT had the increased limit of £2,000 been in place and which the union thought would not have been pursued without legal support because of their complexity. One involved a contact cleaner who was operating a motorised ride-on cleaning machine when the accelerator jammed, causing him to crash. Under the statutory provisions, the claimant had to prove negligence, which involved obtaining disclosure of repair records and witness evidence from a repair contractor who confirmed that the equipment had been persistently faulty. The employer defended the claim until the point when this evidence became available. The case settled for £1,500 in compensation. In the other case, two defendants attempted to blame each other for a workplace accident, and one of them attempted to advance an invalid defence. The case eventually settled for £2,000, including special damages of £400. In oral evidence, Mr Mitchell gave further examples of complex EL and PL cases that Usdaw members had encountered—for example, those involving dog bite injuries, which require an understanding of the complexities of the Animals Act 1971; and tripping accidents, which demand knowledge of case law under the Highways Act 1980.

77.Several witnesses emphasised the importance of the threat of litigation in maintaining health and safety standards in the workplace, including Thompsons Solicitors123 and the PCS.124 Similar views were expressed in several submissions to our predecessor’s inquiry, many of which pointed to the inherent imbalance in the relationship between an employee and their employer, who is likely to have legal representation.125 Steve Mitchell thought that increasing the small claims limit would remove the ability of injured workers to pursue claims against their employers, and considered that litigation was:

…the main driver for maintaining health and safety in the workplace. That is with cuts to the [Health and Safety Executive] and lack of local government inspections. It will be particularly bad for low-paid workers with unscrupulous employers, working in non-unionised premises. We believe the changes will render low-paid workers more vulnerable to injury because in times of austerity there will be less focus by employers on health and safety.126

However, when we asked the Minister, Lord Keen of Elie QC, whether a reduction in low level EL and PL claims would undermine health and safety legislation in the workplace, he denied this without hesitation, simply responding “No”.127

78.There was some evidence indicating the increased proportion of EL and PL cases that would have to be issued as small claims in future. For example, the submission of Bates Wells & Braithwaite to our predecessor’s inquiry suggested that around 30% of its own EL and PL caseload had a PSLA value of less than £2,000. Steve Mitchell from Usdaw told us that his union’s legal service currently took on very few EL/PL cases that were issued in the Small Claims track or settled for less than £1,000, but that:

If the small claims limit was increased from £1,000 to £2,000, we estimate that a fivefold increase in our members’ claims would be captured by the small claims limit.128

79.Witnesses suggested that would-be claimants without representation could be deterred from bringing EL and PL claims.129 Lord Keen was not able to quantify any potential reduction in the volume of claims, suggesting that this was “a qualitative assessment, not a quantitative assessment”.130 He added that people may take a different view as to their prospects of success, and so may not bring a claim.131

80.Some two months after the Minister gave oral evidence to us, his Department published its final stage Impact Assessment on the package of reforms, which confirmed that the MoJ has been unable to obtain baseline data on the current number of non-RTA claims of the size that would be affected by the planned increase in the small claims limit.

We have been unable to gather robust information on the number of PI claims that are not RTA that currently claim PSLA damages to the value of between £1,000 and £2,000, although we assume this number to be relatively small.132

The IA goes on to acknowledge that the absence of reliable data on EL and PL claims means it has not been possible to quantify the potential impact of raising the small claims limit from £1,000 to £2,000.133

81.We are deeply unimpressed by the Ministry of Justice’s inability to quantify the potential impact of raising to £2,000 the small claims limit for employer liability and public liability claims. Given the potential complexity of these claims for self-represented claimants and evidence of the role of litigation in maintaining safe and healthy workplaces, we recommend that they continue to be subject to the lowest small claims threshold—which we have recommended should be set at around £1,500 to take account of inflation since 1999.

Impact on claims for holiday sickness

82.We received evidence from Thomas Cook Group134 and from ABTA, the Travel Association,135 expressing concerns about what they described as a significant increase of holiday illness-related compensation claims, in particular for gastric illness. According to ABTA, the number of claims has grown by over 500% since 2013. ABTA maintains that this increase has been triggered by a blanket exclusion of overseas claims from a fixed recoverable costs regime,136 even where proceedings are issued in the courts of England and Wales; it considers this to be a “regulatory oversight” which has left travel companies vulnerable to the activities of claims management companies.

83.ABTA argued that there are similarities between holiday sickness claims and claims for whiplash injury, particularly as diagnosis tends to be based on self-reporting of symptoms in both cases. Both Thomas Cook and ABTA called for holiday sickness claims to be subject to a small claims limit of £5,000, as with RTA-related PI claims. Our inquiry did not receive any evidence that argued against this.

84.In July 2017, the MoJ announced measures “to tackle the apparent increase in package holiday sickness claims”, including asking the Civil Procedure Rule Committee to consider proposals to amend the Pre-Action Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury Claims,137 to bring these claims within the fixed recoverable costs regime—an amendment that the Committee agreed and which took effect on 16 April 2018.138 The MoJ also asked the Civil Justice Council139 to look at the rules and processes for handling low value personal injury claims, both for gastric illness and more generally, a matter on which it has not yet reported.140 On 13 October 2017, MoJ issued a call for evidence on holiday sickness claims, seeking information on the extent of unmeritorious claims and views on the actions that the Government might take. The consultation closed on 10 November 2017 and the results are currently being analysed.141

85.We welcome the decision to bring claims for holiday sickness within the fixed recoverable costs regime, as this would provide consistency with other PI claims. We recommend that the Government evaluate the impact of the new cost rules after 12 months and consider the evidence received in response to its recent consultation before consulting further on whether any additional action is needed to curb the number of fraudulent holiday sickness claims, to ensure that any proposed measures are proportionate to the problems that may remain.

Impact on the judiciary and the courts

86.Both inquiries received written evidence expressing concerns about the impact of raising the small claims limit on the courts and the judiciary. As noted above (at paragraph 17), a high proportion of PI cases currently settle through the electronic portal, avoiding the need for a court hearing. Kennedys Law LLP thought that switching more cases to the Small Claims track would also lose the incentive to avoid a trial that is seen as a feature of the Fast track, where litigants carry the risk of paying costs if their case loses.

Assuming that the cost awarded to parties in the small claims arena remain limited claimant and defendant alike may well decide to run more cases to trial. At present running a low value injury case to trial in the Fast track is commercially unappealing to many parties. However, if the costs remain proportionate more parties may decide to “have their day in court”.142

87.The Motor Accident Solicitors Society thought that increasing the small claims limit “would probably lead to increased burdens on the court service and judiciary, equating to longer hearings, delays in justice, longer waiting lists and higher costs.”143 Devon and Somerset Law Society observed that, following court closures in their area, the remaining court centres “are stretched to breaking point.”144,145 In its published submission to the MoJ consultation of November 2016, the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers raised concerns about the possible unintended consequences for the court system arising from a higher small claims limit:

The small claims track is simply unsuitable for personal injury litigants. Various sections of the [Civil Procedure Rules, which govern the conduct of civil litigation] are excluded from the small claims track to simplify the procedure. These include disclosure and inspection [of documents], evidence (apart from at the court’s discretion), experts (again, subject to discretion), part 18 further information requests, Part 36 offers to settle, general rules about hearings (Part 39). These rules help to incentivise settlement and if personal injury claims are forced into a system without these rules, cases that would not have gone to court in the current system will inevitably end up there.146

88.In our oral evidence session, we asked Mrs Justice Simler to explain why the Civil Executive Team had indicated “a serious level of dismay” about the impact of on the courts of raising the small claims limit. She explained that the current pre-action protocols are “not easily understood by litigants in person” and that PI claimants with claims valued up to the new limit of £5,000—likely to be litigants in person (LIPs)—would not be permitted to access the existing electronic portal, which can only be used by solicitors and insurers. Even if the electronic portal is redesigned, “there is no evidence to support the assumption that future settlement rates would at least be maintained at the high rate that is being achieved through the portal.” She continued:

Some of the things we worried about were that litigants in person with no legal advice about their prospects of success, or the likely level of quantum, would be unlikely to trust insurers and would have less incentive to settle through a redesigned portal.147

89.Mrs Justice Simler referred to the Civil Executive Team’s (CET) response to the Ministry of Justice’s November 2016 consultation, which explained how the greater burden on the courts was likely to play out in practice.148 In addition to lower rates of settlement, both before and after the issue of proceedings, the following anticipated factors were among those identified by the CET:

As explained by Mrs Justice Simler, the Civil Executive Team had estimated the burden on the judiciary of a case on the Small Claims track to be at least double, if not treble or quadruple, the burden of a case on the Fast track. Echoing a point made to us by Shirley Denyer from FOIL,149 she explained that small claims “are very ad hoc, things go wrong and papers are missing”. Mrs Justice Simler estimated that trials of Fast track cases generally take 15 minutes, but a small claims trial can take one to two hours or more—assuming that no adjournment is needed to obtain more information “with all the resources consequent on that”.150

90.When we questioned the Minister, Lord Keen of Elie QC, on whether there had been any research into the role of lawyers in achieving greater volumes of claim settlement, he said he was not aware of any.151 He went on to say that a case that is complex in causation and liability is not likely to remain in the Small Claims track; that is, it could be allocated to the Fast track.152 While he understood concerns about the poor state of preparation of many cases that come to the small claims court, he considered that this indicated a need to simplify the small claims process and that “it may require judges to take a rather more proactive approach to the determination of cases than they have done historically.” When asked whether this might run the risk of increasing the burden on judicial time rather than reducing it, and about the implications for the MoJ’s budget, he responded:

We will have to see the extent to which it does impact on judicial time. As I say, the primary mover is to simplify the claims process and the pre-action protocol.153

91.We conclude that the senior judiciary has reasonable concerns about the consequences for judges, and for the courts system, of increasing the small claims limit and we do not consider that “wait and see” is an adequate Government response to these concerns. If the small claims limit is to be increased by more than the rate of inflation, we recommend that the Ministry of Justice and HM Courts and Tribunal Service work with the senior judiciary to agree in advance a framework for monitoring the impact on the judiciary and the courts, so that monitoring can commence immediately after introduction of the new limit[s] and urgent steps taken to address any adverse impact identified.

92.We further recommend that the Ministry of Justice ask the Civil Procedure Rule Committee to consider whether the Civil Procedure Rules need to be changed to facilitate applications by self-represented claimants on the Small Claims track to have their case transferred to the Fast track.

78 Oral evidence: The Work of the Ministry of Justice, HC 418. Wednesday 25 October 2017. Q22

79 Ibid, Q21

85 The Civil Executive Team is a team of four civil judges, charged by the Master of the Rolls with responsibility for judicial oversight of proposed reforms and change in civil procedure.

87 CLM0039; also Horwich Cohen Coghlan Solicitors [CLM0012); Usdaw [CLM0014].

89 Q12. National Accident Helpline reported similar results from a survey of its own customers (CLM007)

92 CLM0020. The survey, Annual Expert Witness Survey Report 2017, was undertaken by Bond Solon in collaboration with the Times.

94 Including Carpenters [WHP0027], DGM Solicitors [WHP0069], Excel Legal [WHP0026], Hodge Jones & Allen [WHP059]

95 Including Principia Law Ltd [WHP0035], Platinum Partnership Solicitors [WHP0066], New Law Solicitors [WHP0004], Easthams Solicitors [WHP0022], Rowley Dickinson Solicitors [WHP0019]

96 Concerns were also raised by Coyne Learmouth Solicitors [CLM0010]

97 The Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) is the mechanism in the UK through which compensation is provided for victims of accidents caused by uninsured and untraced drivers and by foreign motorists, which is funded by an estimated £30 a year from every insured driver’s premiums.

102 Ibid paragraph 5.70

104 BIBA [CLM0022]

120 CLM0032, citing Compensation Recovery Unit Performance Data, updated May 2017. The recently published data for 2017/18 show that EL claims have fallen further to 69,230.

121 See footnote 10 and paragraph 5 of Annex

125 Including TUC [WHP0018], Unite [WHP0036], Unison [WHP0051], Bates Wells & Braithwaite [WHP0044]

129 Unison [WHP0051], TUC [WHP0018],

133 Ibid, paragraph 10.10

136 Fixed recoverable costs, also known as predictable costs, have been introduced for PI cases up to the value of £25,000. This regime provides more certainty for both parties and avoids lengthy disputes about the level of legal costs after the substantive case has concluded. See also Annex, paragraph 5.

137 Pre-action protocols explain the conduct and set out the steps the court would normally expect parties to take before commencing proceedings for particular types of civil claims. They are approved by the Master of the Rolls and are annexed to the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR).

139 The CJC is an advising non-departmental public body responsible for overseeing and co-ordination of the civil justice system.

145 From April 2011 to March 2017, over 70 county courts were closed in England and Wales. Answer to House of Commons Written Question 136450, 18 April 2018.

152 Q83. Under Rule 26.8 of the Civil Procedure Rules, when allocating a case to a track the court must have regard to a range of factors including the financial value of the claim, the likely complexity of the facts, law or evidence and the amount of oral evidence that may be required.

Published: 17 May 2018