Legal Challenge To Personal Injury Fixed Cost
It has been reported that a legal challenge to review the decision behind cuts to personal injury fees will be fast-tracked through the High Court.
The Ministry of Justice announced last year it would consult on new fixed costs of £500 for claims under £10,000 coming through the portal. The consultation closed on 4 January and the Ministry of Justice has confirmed that they intend to slash the fixed costs.
The judicial review application has been made jointly by Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and Motor Accident Solicitors Society (MASS). The Application will now be heard in what is known as a rolled up hearing. In essence this means that the two stages of a Judicial review application i.e. whether there are valid grounds for the judicial review to proceed followed by an oral hearing to deal with the claim will now be heard together.
The date for the hearing has not been confirmed.
The Ministry of Justice rational behind it’s decision is that as referral fees will be banned (which could be as much as £800.00 per claim) this cost can be taken off the fixed costs. At Clearwater Solicitors we believe the Ministry of Justice has fallen to take into account when the fixed costs were set by all Claimant and Defendant stakeholders Defendant solicitors and Claimant solicitors in April 2010 no account was taken of referral fees. The only factors taken into account was the amount of time required to deal with a claim from start to finish.
We can only hope the judicial review is successful.