June 16, 2016

What, you may ask, having presumably just read the headline above, is a pseudo lawyer?

Is it one who reckons he’s all fancy pants and special and that, and is forever posing around with his fingers raised pensively to his chin, misquoting Foucault, Heidegger and Derrida? Actually, it isn’t.

A pseudo lawyer is someone who comes on like a lawyer without actually being one. He’s like a TV dentist who strategically omits the line about ‘I’m not a dentist but…’

Or something. Anyway there’s going to be a lot more of it about in the next few years. That’s according the Federation of Insurers’ Lawyers (FOIL), who are all 100% bone of fido lawyers, with the paperwork to prove it. Probably. If you asked them.

That’s right: FOOL this week warned that an unwelcome side effect of the government’s War on Claims could be a massive outbreak of pseudo lawyers.

The entirely laudable aim of increasing the small claims court limit for personal injury from £1,000 to £5,000 was to encourage would be trouble-makers to give up and go away.

The problem is that lots of claim makers have insisted on pressing ahead without a lawyer. Obviously, they’ve been floundering pitifully and really just wasting everyone’s time.

But the real worry is that flushing claimant lawyers out of the bottom end of the market has created a vacuum into which so-called claims management firms (CFCs) could come cynically rushing, in the role of… pseudo lawyers.

More specifically, they’ll be coming in the guise of McKinsey Fiends.

If that expression is not familiar to you, allow Bankstone News to explain…

Where a litigant in person is too poor or whatever to get themselves a lawyer, English law provides for them to have something, as we have just mentioned, called a McKinsey Fiend.

This are basically just anybody who offers to hold the litigant’s hand and sort of prop them up a bit generally, based on whatever knowledge they may or may not have about how to get things done in a court of law.

Naturally, the kind of low-life riff-raf who wants to make a fuss in the small claims court is quite unlikely to know anyone with either any idea how to do legal stuff or any inclination to offer this kind of assistance.

Which is where, FOIL fears, claims management firms could come a-sneaking in, telling claim makers, they can sort all this legal b*ll*cks for them and help them get their greedy undeserving hands on some of their insurer’s hard earned cash.

The problem, FOIL reckon, will only get worse if the proposals of a recent Judaical Executive Board consultation, which positively encourages pseudo lawyers, are adopted.

Said proposals include rebranding McKinsey Fiends as ‘Courtza Porters’ and even allowing them to get paid for their pseudo-legal input. Failing an outright ban on anyone lifting a finger to help litigants in person, FOIL is calling for “new rules ensuring that the interests of those using the courts remain protected.”

And that means all those using the courts, clearly, not just those hell bent on persisting with their almost certainly bogus claims for this or that non-existent injury. In fact, particularly not them.

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