Defendant lawyers have told the government that the ban on referral fees in personal injury claims is not working, as part of a wide-ranging response to inform the government’s review of civil litigation funding reforms.
The Ministry of Justice is looking at whether or not part 2 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) is working. Publishing an initial assessment and call for evidence in June, the ministry said it would be helpful to know if the current referral fee ban in personal injury cases is effective. The Forum of Insurance Lawyers (FOIL), which has 8,000 members, says it is not.
FOIL, in its response, says it believes a survey commissioned by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) last year ‘significantly under-represents the degree to which current claimant business practices breach LASPO’. Quoting the SRA’s findings, FOIL says 88 per cent of managers in the firms the regulator visited were aware of breaches to the ban.