Jack Straw’s attempt to make the payment of referral fees a criminal offence has failed (in part because of concerns over the burden of proof required). Instead the proposed ban will be dealt with by the regulators.
Dominic Regan, writing in the New Law Journal, suggests this is:
“the most sensible way of enforcing a ban upon the profession. … The risk of being struck off should ensure that the tempted do not succumb”
So the clock will be turned back to pre-2004 when the Law Society rules banned referral fees and solicitors wouldn’t dream of paying them for fear of the consequences. Unless there were panel members of Claims Direct, Accident Group, etc, etc.