No win no fee* no anything
The personal injury compensation industry in the UK is worth millions every year, but it’s about to get a shake-up in April when the remuneration rules for no win no fee* change, with a cap on “success fees” which currently the losing side has to stump up for. As with all hammer-to-crack-a-nut approaches to problem-solving, the efforts to save the insurance industry around £400 million per year in compensation pay-outs across the board, whilst understandable, may cause hardship elsewhere in society.
Who are the losers?
The pro no win no fee* lobby fears that claimants of lower value cases may lose out altogether because legal firms simply will not find it economic to represent them. These personal injury claimants will still find online services and automated processes available to them but they may not get the personal attention they need to win the justice they deserve.
Other losers are newly qualified solicitors and other legal professionals looking for placements in a legal practice. It has always been hard for a young qualified solicitor to start their career and a shrinking of the industry whilst Britain is in recession can only make it harder.
The legal profession takes a lot of criticism for earning high fees, but in reality firms of solicitors do a great deal of pro bono (free) work for the community that goes largely unnoticed and not praised. Much of this work up until now has been supported by the legal aid system. Hardship is far worse for the poor, who have to endure the results of a legal injustice with little other resources to help them recover their lives.
Broadly speaking, all members of British society are losers because we all work, we all drive and we all cross roads. If we lose the safety net of legal protection from anything from personal injury to unfair custody arrangements for our children, life will become increasingly hazardous and unfair. Many people fear that the personal injury compensation legal process is being weighted towards “the big boys” away from the “man in the street”.