A couple of topics today.
First let's talk about Jackson. That well known supporter of the PI industry, Jonathan Djanogly has confirmed that the Justice Bill will be published later this month. It has been delayed due to the Impact Assessment not being 'fit for purpose' as judged by the Cabinet Office (no doubt something to do with being prepared before the MoJ could have read all of the submissions to the consultation, being based on Jaggards i.e. skewed data blah blah blah). A new impact assessment will be produced alongside the Bill and will no doubt look very similar to the old one but with just some tweaks to keep the Cabinet Office lawyers happy.
The Justice Bill is going to contain a whole raft of changes and not just to Personal Injury claims. It is going to deal with Legal Aid and sentencing reform so I don't think it is going to go through parliament (not to mention the House of Lords) without some challenges. No one knows how long the Bill will take to become law but the best guess we have is 6 months. The devil is of course in the detail and we won't be seeing the draft procedural rules for some time. Even if the Bill can be enacted in 6 months, we still don't expect the full reforms to be ready until at least October 2012. We shall see...
Now I have already mentioned our dear friends Jaggards and their willing to help the Government with their unbiased data set. Well they are at it again - helping the Ministry of Justice to decide on fixed costs. To be fair, they aren't actually helping officially but having already had a foot in the door, I wouldn't bet on them pushing it open a little more. Ready for this - it's a good one.......... they are now saying that fixed costs are too high and so the Jackson reforms, when they come in, will actually mean PI solicitors will be making more money and those poor defendant insurers will be losing even more.
Now I would like to know which abacus they are using and see their methodology. Which planet are they on exactly? Fixed costs are er, fixed and Jackson isn't going to increase these. The success fee is not going to be recoverable under Jackson so how exactly are PI solicitors going to make more money? If you work for Jaggards and read this blog then please leave a comment explaining this one - I will publish it verbatim.
So there you have it - more smoke wafting over the battlefield. Unbelievable.
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