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The following letter was published in the latest edition of the Law Gazette:
“Rhonwen Barraclough’s letter (8 October) complained about Lord Justice Jackson’s recent suggestion of increasing the small claims limit if a deal cannot be done on fixing legal costs in fast-track claims. Among the various reasons put forward as to why this was a bad thing, the most desperate was:
‘There is also the prospect of losing even more high street practices, given the constant onslaught from professional indemnity insurance and farcical legal aid rates. Like it or not, personal injury is big business, with the majority of fee income going back into the economy in the form of taxes, VAT, wages and to other associated businesses. Has the practical impact of the reforms been considered in that context at all? Can the government really afford to lose the revenues generated by PI?’
Criminal behaviour is big business, keeping employed criminal lawyers, police, prison offices, security firms and so on, and generating various taxes as a result. However, one would have to be going it some to argue that the government should be very cautious about trying to reduce crime.
What next? The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers campaigning for more dangerous driving, unsafe work practices and more potholes in an effort to bail the government out of its current financial difficulties?
Forget high street practices, what about your average poor costs consultant if fixed fees are introduced? Now that is serious.
Simon Gibbs, Partner, Gibbs Wyatt Stone (defendant costs consultants),