Lord Justice Jackson’s Preliminary Report on Civil Litigation Costs gives details of the meeting he had with the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and the views that they expressed. This included: “APIL and FOIL have agreed a new code for handling high value personal injury cases. It applies to claims above £250,000. The code is currently being piloted (for 12 months from July 2008) and is working well. It is APIL’s experience that the claims handlers dealing with large claims are better and easier to deal with”.
It is somewhat odd if this is the view being expressed by claimant representatives and is one being accepted by Jackson LJ as being accurate. One senior claims manager at a major insurer that we have been in touch with said: “It will probably come as no surprise to you to learn that I’m not aware of any cases under the Multi-track Protocol that have settled yet. One of the main reasons for this is that there are so few cases that are being dealt with under the Protocol! It’s my belief (and this is a belief that I know is shared by others) that claimant firms are not keen to use the Protocol as it restricts their ability to build up costs – though the lawyers would probably say that it restricts their ability to look after their client’s best interests. On the few cases where the Protocol is being used, our experience is that the firms concerned do the absolute minimum to ensure observance of the terms, are not really operating within the spirit of the Protocol and are trying to make sure that it fails from the inside”.