Claimant law firm Thompsons Solicitors and the Association of British Insurers met last week to agree a new protocol for personal injury solicitors and Insurers amid the current coronavirus crisis. The ABI website states “Firms across the personal injury sector are facing unprecedented challenge as a result of the spread of COVID-19.” As a response together they developed this new protocol which involves:
The protocol came into effect immediately as of the 24th March, for a minimum of 4 weeks, with a joint review in the week commencing the 13th of April. By then, Thompson’s say, the Lord Chief Justice’s office may have formal instructions in place.
More than 70 claimant firms and 16 insurers have signed up so far. Thompsons Solicitors’ Tom Jones, said: “We have all needed to innovate ... The threat to individual claimants and access to justice has become too great to ignore, and this protocol puts a practical framework in place.”
The agreement has come at a time where there has been growing pleas from law firms for guidance from the Civil Procedure Rule Committee. In an open letter to the CPRC Barrister Gordon Exall wrote “It is absurd that litigators, who have a duty to continue to provide a public service, have to worry about time periods, about being struck out, about not being paid because a costs budget cannot be lodged timeously…” He called for an end to time limits and sanctions, for the Rule committee to not only allow parties to agree general extensions of time but to suspend CPR3.9.
The CPRC said last week that updates in response to the COVID-19 outbreak are under urgent consideration and are likely to be updated with short notice.
This is a fast changing unprecedented situation and we are all trying our best to respond quickly and thoroughly. To see who has signed up to this new protocol or to sign up yourself you can check the ABI’s website: https://www.abi.org.uk/products-and-issues/choosing-the-right-insurance/motor-insurance/coronavirus-protocol/
At Box Legal we are still fully operational, with each department now based remotely from home and working as usual. You are still able to access all of our services and request ATE insurance policies through our website www.Boxlegal.co.uk and if you have any queries please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org