Whiplash reform programme delayed until May 2021

Commenting on today’s written statement by the Secretary of State for Justice that the whiplash reform programme will be delayed until May 2021. Qamar Anwar, managing director, First4Lawyers says:

 I think we can all appreciate that this is a challenging time, but the proposed whiplash injury changes preceded the pandemic. The fact that the Government is still not in a position to provide the necessary detail raises questions about the validity and evidence base around these reforms.

While it is encouraging that the Lord Chancellor recognises the importance of industry preparedness, I would remind him that without the pre-action protocol and practice directions governing the new regime that businesses can do very little to prepare.

Missing from today’s statement is a clear timetable which is both predictable and lamentable.

Now might be the time for the Ministry of Justice to remind itself of its objectives, namely: ensure access to justice in a way that best meets people’s needs and support a flourishing legal services sector.  These reforms fly in the face of both.


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