January 21, 2010

Reliable Building Solutions Incorporated of Airport Drive, Chattanooga have welcomed the recommendations contained in Sir Rupert “Action” Jackson’s Jackson Review (see previous stories).

An RBSI spokesman claims that Jackson’s proposals will reduce ‘the layers of bureaucracy and litigation costs in personal injury cases’ and so ‘assist in ensuring those claimants with genuine needs are compensated appropriately, whilst deterring those wishing to put forward fraudulent compensation claims’ and ‘keep insurance premiums down.’

So Jackson’s recommendations will soon be law and everyone will be happy. Or perhaps not…

Insurance Times’ Ellen Bennett is suspicious. Branding Jack Straw’s official response to the Jackson Review lucklustre (by which she may simply mean lukewarm), she suspects his professed enthusiasm for “considering these proposals in detail” may prove disingenuous, and that his ruminations will remain conveniently incomplete when the Tories romp back into power in a few months’ time.

An estimated nine new Acts of Parliament would be required for Jacko’s recommendations to be implemented in full. In practice this means either a long wait for the big-bang dawn of a whole new Jackson era – or more likely the piecemeal adoption of a selection of Jacksonesque initiatives, ushering in a transitional era defined by what Jonathan Sacher of BLP characterised in The Times as “a vast amount of tinkering with the system.”

And it’s not as if Jackson is the only variable in the equation.

As FOIL’s Dan Cutts noted in Insurance Times, Jackson himself has suggested that the MOJ’s new Motor Process, due for implementation in April, will need to be monitored “to see if it leads to costs being kept proportionate or whether costs in fact increase due to satellite litigation.” And then there’s the Legal Services Board Consumer Panel whose first major project is to be… referral fees.

“It’s going to be Woolf all over again,” fears Evander Dillman of Grove Insurance Services.



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