Behind The Brand, Industry Updates

First4Lawyers in the media: March 2020

2 minutes

Charlotte Todd, marketing executive, March 09, 2020

Anything pre-Christmas always seems a long time ago once the New Year arrives, but in early December we had a Letter to Editor published in the Law Society Gazette, with Andy Kay, our director of operations, responding to the news that Aviva was calling for solicitors to be forced to declare the means by which personal injury clients are obtained.

December’s general election meant that there was finally clarity on the fact that the reforms would definitely be going ahead, but that merely left more unanswered questions with near-unanimous agreement from all sides that the April 2020 deadline was not achievable. There were concerns that the rules were still to be published and several key questions about the portal and the process remained unanswered.

We wrote a piece for Claims magazine in December, where we once again, highlighted our concerns and called on the Ministry of Justice to also shed some light on when a public information campaign would begin.

Fast forward two months, and the position remained unchanged. No further information or guidance had been issued, and yet businesses were being asked ‘to prepare’, for what? We attended both the Motor Insurers Bureau and Association of British Insurers’ annual conferences and following speeches there by David Parkin, deputy director for civil justice and law at the MoJ, and a demo of the portal we couldn’t believe that the MoJ continued to say reforms would be implemented on April 6th.
In early February, we wrote a piece for Claims magazine calling into question the feasibility of this deadline, alongside the morality of launching a portal which by the MoJ’s own concession, is not yet fit for purpose. We were also quoted in an article for The Times - Law on whiplash reform, where Andy Kay that it would be “mission impossible” for this to go ahead on time and that due to the way the portal has been set up “individuals will have to initially interpret their own injuries”.

Finally, on February 27th, the announcement was made that the reforms would be delayed until August. We issued a media comment on this calling for the extra time granted not to be wasted and for the MoJ to issue the new rules without further delay, which was published in Legal Futures, Insurance Business, Insurance Times, Solicitors Journal and POST online.


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