No win, no-fee claims news

Tories would not adopt all proposals

The Conservative Party has signalled that it would not embrace all of Lord Justice Jackson's proposed changes to the no-win, no-fee claims system were it to win the next election.

Although shadow justice minister Henry Bellingham said that a Tory government would welcome some of Jackson's accident compensation system proposals, he said that many were "unworkable" and went against the principles of a free market.

"In a capitalist society, is it right to say we should get rid of a mechanism that the market has put in place? We have to be very careful about making changes," he said.

On the proposal to do away with the typical no-win, no-fee claims process of having defendants pick up the success fees of claimants he said, "I am quite aware of the damage they [success fees] can do, but I think they are more a symptom than a cause. If we can start controlling costs in other ways and prevent some cases going to court, then we start to solve the problem."

Additionally, he said that claims management companies should continue to be able to receive no-win, no-fee claims referral fees, provided they operate on an ethical basis.

"The National Accident Helpline is [an example of] a consortium of solicitors that have got together to share the costs of advertising and marketing, and they work for one another. There is nothing dishonourable in receiving referral fees for that. But ambulance chasers clamouring for easy fees are another consideration," he said.


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