In the summer, the government announced that there would be a formal consultation by the Department of Health on proposals to introduce fixed recoverable costs for clinical negligence claims. On 4 August 2015, the Department of Health launched a pre-consultation exercise in which it proposed:
- a fixed fees regime from 1 October 2016 for clinical negligence cases up to £250,000 in damages (pre-issue costs/post-issue pre-trial costs)
- a cap on fees for expert reports on liability/causation and quantum/diagnosis
- no ‘special provisions’ to control behaviour on both sides
So that it can respond robustly, with evidence, to the forthcoming consultation, the Law Society needs data on the time and complexity of clinical negligence work and how this relates to charges. If we are to respond robustly to the consultation, we need as much data as possible, and only our members can provide that. We have therefore launched a survey asking clinical negligence firms to provide, on a confidential basis, data on current claimant costs. The closing date is 9 January 2016.